I often see blogs on business websites and personal blogs that have been left for months. The worst offender I have seen of late was a client I took on who had launched a blog on their website in 2011. 3 posts followed in that year. In 2012 there was one post. In 2013 there was one post. Both of those were advertising an open day. Why is this so bad?...
Old content makes your site look neglected. If you neglect your site what do you do to your clients? People will stay away. Keep your content fresh and up to date. Be sure that prices are correct and offers are relevant. Keep changing images of products and services. Post new testimonials too to keep things moving.
As to the blog: if you have a blog then you must commit to it. That means AT LEAST one post a week; if not two. They don’t have to be long but they do need to be frequent. If this is too much commitment then DO NOT HAVE A BLOG!
Far better to have a news or article page that you can update as and when you have something to say and the time to write it down.
The reason for having a blog is to share news and relevant content regularly. If you can’t commit don’t do it!
The reason that I wrote this post is because I noticed that I had not posted on this blog for over a month! Horror; I am too busy posting on other blogs to keep up on my own; shame on me, and I must do better! ...watch this space!
New Article: How Often Should I update My Website?
Marketing – It’s Not All About you!
...It’s also not all about driving lots of visitors to your website. It’s not even all about getting lots of leads. So what is it about?
I think that marketing is about identifying your target audience. Find out who your customers are, or if you don’t have any, who they are most likely to be. Identify what they like and how they go about making purchases like the one you want them to make with you..
How To get New Business Online - Website Marketing Basics
Everyone has a website these days: But how many of them really work and produce income and results?
It’s all too easy to have a website built and then expect to get new business. But there is so much competition out there how do you get your website seen? Then once people visit it how do you attract them s clients?
The website itself is just part of this puzzle. There are a few basic steps that lead to a new client:
1. People who are interested in what you offer visit your website (targeted traffic)
2. Your website is simple to use and navigate
3. You capture peoples information whilst they are at your website
4. You follow up with quality messages
5. You offer them great service and they spread the word
Website traffic is easy. I can get thousands of visitors to any website with ease. However getting targeted traffic is harder. It takes time and effort. And targeted traffic is the key to success.
A website is like a shop window. If you had a shop in your local high street for your business would it work? Chances are no. There may be thousands of people passing by but how many are interested in what you offer – at that time?
Your website needs to be visible to people at the exact moment when they are looking for an offer like yours. So if you sell holiday lodges in North Wales you need people to find you when they are looking for a holiday lodge in Wales.
This means you need to be on the front page of the search results when people put in the relevant terms. But not everyone can be on the front page – there are only 10 spots. Luckily there are other ways to get hot leads. These involve social media, PR, articles, blogs and other forms of inbound marketing.
You may have noticed, as many of our clients have, a fall off in the returns from print advertising. It’s been in decline for years. I remember when I could put an advert in the Mail on Sunday or the News of the World and the phone would ring all day and Monday. Happy days; but they are no more.
80% of people research purchases online before actually buying. So if you place an advert in the paper people may like the idea: They will visit your website or make an enquiry: But they will also research online your competition. So you need to have a strong presence and reputation online to still stand a chance at this new business. At the end of the day a combined approach is what is needed.
Once you get people to your website you need to capture their data. Simple data catchment forms can have a huge effect. Most people will only visit your website once. So while they are there get their email and name. Then you can send them emails and engage with them. In this way you build your reputation and give people reasons to make their purchase from you and not your competition.
Social media now offers your brand the chance to engage with prospects and customers. You can offer them great service and value. And in this way you will be the natural choice when it comes time for their next booking or purchase.
Constant Marketing Leads to Success
Marketing now must be a constant stream of actions and engagement. In this way your business will be the first choice when it comes time to book. Best of all social media allows your audience to recommend you to their network, thus your offer spreads organically. Personal recommendation is more powerful now than ever before. Reputation is key to this and businesses need to have a plan to manage this online.
CR4L charges on results: If we don’t get you new business you don’t pay. For a more information visit the CR4L website or call Alex for a chat.
How does your website perform?
· Is your website working properly?
· Do all the links work?
· How is it ranked?
· What can you do to make it better for no cost?
Find out all this and more with a free website evaluation from CR4L - just click the image
Social Media Marketing - Why Bother..?
There is a lot of talk about social media marketing on the web but what is it and how does it work?
There are many social media networks and each has its website. The most popular and known are Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and YouTube. There are many more and the biggest newcomer of late has to be Google+. Although new it has the weight of Google behind it and coming late to the scene they have had the chance to see what works and what people like and incorporate these features to it; it is set to be big.
But what does all this mean to an individual or small business? What is the big deal, why does everyone go on about it and how does it create business?
People like to buy from people. People love it when their friends recommend a product or service to them and they will be much more inclined to buy it. As sellers businesses can say all they like about their product but who is going to believe them? 8 out of ten cats preferred it... studies show... laboratory tested... etc...
We have heard it all and then some. But when a friend tells you they have just bought an iWidget and it does this and that and the other and was only £9,99 you may well take notice. You may even buy one. That is the power of personal recommendation.
81% Of People Are Influenced By Social Media When Making A Purchase
In a previous article (http://www.cr4l.com/1/post/2013/10/word-of-mouth-marketing-demonstrably-effective.html ) I quoted a study by WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) which showed that 72% of people have been influenced by customer reviews and a whopping 81% are influenced by their friends and social media.
According to a Nielson study carried out in September 2013 84% of people most trust “recommendations from people I know” when purchasing.
In the old days you heard about new products or great restaurants from your social circle down the pub or at work. Now those social circles are much bigger and they are on the internet. Businesses need to engage with this medium in order to spread their message and get customers to recommend and talk about their products.
And that is what Social Media Marketing is all about.
Getting a Return on Your Investment
Whether you spend money or time on social media for your business you will want to maximise your return on investment. To do this you need to have a plan and stick to it. One of the biggest problems that most D-I-Y social media marketers have is distraction and lack of focus. It is all too easy to get side tracked and end up spending hours and get nothing for it.
3 Steps to Success With Social Media Marketing
· Step 1 is to make a plan
· Step 2 is stick to it
· Step 3 is monitoring it.
Golden rule of marketing is never to invest in something that you cannot tract the results from.
Let’s look at each step in order...
Step 1 – Make a Plan
You can get a useful template for planning your marketing from the free downloads page of CR4L (http://www.cr4l.com/free-downloads)
For a simple social media version you need to set your goals first. All good campaigns start with the end. These goals may be; traffic to your website; building a mailing list; building a fan list; brand awareness; brand confidence; actual sales... or one of several other outcomes.
Next you need to think about how much time or money you want to give to this. This will depend largely on the outcome you are looking for. Sales will directly pay for marketing so that is a lot easier to monetise. Bigger businesses will have a brand advertising budget, but that tends to be a luxury for a small business and not a wise investment.
Now you need to find out where your target audience are. Where do your current customers socialise online? What is their demographic and how do they best like to share things?
In general terms Twitter tends to be a younger crowd but of late the fasted growing group has been the 45 to 55 year olds. Facebook is for the majority so has been a safe bet. But it does not always give a good return on investment.
Step 2- Stick to it
As mentioned you can get distracted. You can also always find better things to do in a business than surfing the web. But social media marketing works over the long term. So if you decide to start stick with it and be consistent.
Twitter and Facebook are littered with accounts businesses have set up with good intentions. There are a few posts, maybe an initial spurt of energy and then it peters out to nothing. That is worse than not starting in the first place as it makes your business look neglected.
The rule of thumb is 4 to 6 interactions a day on each channel for best effect. This is a big commitment but you can ease the work with tools such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. These allow you to schedule posts and do all your work in one go.
Add to this systems like the “5 Step Google Traffic Booster” available on the CR4L free download page as a featured download. (http://www.cr4l.com/free-downloads)
Step 3 – Monitoring Results
Vital in any investment is knowing what you get back for your money. With social media activity you need to know what is giving you the results you see and focus on that. If something is not producing results stop doing it. At first this is hard as you do need to give it some time to have an effect.
Before long you will see what works and what doesn’t. Keep on with what does, axe what does not and try new things all the time. Keep up to date with blogs like this one to see any new helpful tips and keep at it.
The above process will work for any business. It is perhaps a little vague so if you would like to have a more concise plan and some bespoke advice on making Social Media Marketing work for your business then just get in touch through the contact page or visit http://www.cr4l.com for a full service that comes with the benefit of guaranteed results.
You may also like to see a related article:
Good luck and don’t forget to ask if you need help!
No matter what size your business and who your target audience is the most successful marketing strategy is to stand out and be different. That can mean all sorts of things but in an essence don’t be new and improved, be remarkable....
Remarkable – the key part of that word is “remark” – you want to be so significant that people talk about you to others. Do you remember the last really great product you came across? Was it good enough to tell your friends about?
This sharing is the key to success with social media. It’s easier now than ever for people to share your outstanding business with their friends and colleagues. Your business must have social media sharing icons on its web pages. Your blog must stand out and offer something remarkable. If you Tweet make it relevant and worth re-Tweeting. Become the subject of conversation.
All this is easier said than done. If you are a widget manufacturer just like many others how do you stand out and be remarkable? The same is true of restaurants, hotels, shops, garages, plumbers, builders, architects, engineers, designers and almost anyone that needs to attract new clients and business.
So many articles now have great content but then end with no real solution. Well I don’t want to do that here. No matter where you are and what your business is you can stand out and be remarkable. And I will prove it to you. CR4L offer “Results Marketing” – that means we get you results or you don’t pay (by the way that’s what makes CR4L remarkable) and we guarantee we can make your business remarkable too. If we can’t make your business remarkable you don’t pay.
Challenge CR4L to make your business stand out in 2014 by clicking the link.
New Statistics Show that Small Businesses Spend half Their Budget On Digital Marketing - how about you..?
Amazing figures are coming out now as surveys are published towards the year end. One statistic that caught my eye is the move to online digital media which I expected to be headed by big innovative firms but I was wrong.
It seems that small firms are leading the way with social media and online marketing. Taking advantage of this medium where they can connect cheaply with their target audience. Small firms are getting a much better return on their advertising spend online.
Chaos today in Asda stores in the UK as they adopt Black Friday offers such as their parent company Wal-Mart does in the US. Fights broke out over hugely discounted TVs and Tablets and general chaos reigned for a short while.
Next week starts with Cyber Monday which is supposed to be the start of Christmas shopping online. But do either of these events affect your sales and business?
60% of shoppers do not know what Black Friday is according to an Asda pole of customers. In fact a lot of people in the UK still think of Black Friday as the day the stock market crashed.
So what does this mean to normal businesses and can we benefit in any way from these days?
Here at CR4L we think you can. No matter what sort of business you operate it is a good idea to promote for the holiday season and special days. The number of online searches goes up and if you target your marketing and social media efforts you can take advantage.
Just having relevant content on your blog will help boost your rankings. Tie in an offer and you can benefit from extra traffic. Push this out across your social media channels for maximum effect and see the boost in your web traffic.
Its also an opportunity to catch some good data and reach out to a wider audience. Social media is a great way to spread the word about your business and having a relevant talking point helps spread the message faster and further.
To find out how CR4L can help you reach a wider audience visit the Inbound Marketing page of the website. And be sure and get our free marketing analysis of your business by clicking ...
Make Sure Your Website Is Performing Properly
Its all to easy to "set it and forget it" when it comes to a company website. But there are many things that must be kept up to date. Here we offer the top 7 checks that you can do once or twice a year to make sure your website is up to date and performing well.
Broken links, out dated information and old images can ruin the impression of your website on visitors. Often we can be so busy with our business that we just leave our website alone. Now with the holiday season upon us and most website's traffic about to hit the max it is best to check everything is working properly.
If you want the facts without the hassle then fill in the form below orhere to get a Free website evaluation from CR4L.
7 End of Year Checks For Your Website
Review Company Information
Do you have an “About Us” page or staff listing? Is it up-to-date with correct names, titles, and other contact information? What about your company history? Check references such as, “In our 10 year history” to see if it’s time to make a change.
Carefully review contact information. Are the phone and fax numbers, mailing and email addresses listed on your site all current? If you list firstname.lastname@example.org as the main contact address on your site, is it being routed to the correct person? If your shopping cart sends order information to email@example.com, is that going where it needs to go? Make sure your email routing reflects any organizational changes you’ve had.
Review and Test Forms & Automated Messages
Most websites include at least one contact form or landing page where site visitors are asked to provide basic information so that you can send them something or get back in touch with them. Contact forms need to be tested and reviewed regularly to make sure they work. Also make sure that they’re understandable and easy to use.
One test that’s smart at least once a year is to test the error messages that visitors to your website will get if they don’t complete the form correctly, or if there is a problem. So try to submit contact forms without the required information to make sure the resulting error message is clear and understandable.
If you send an automated confirmation message, in the form of a splash screen or email, when someone orders something or uses a contact form, make sure that the message still says what you want it to say. Check for spelling and grammar errors, content, and contact information, and that any sections of the automatic message that are supposed to be filled in from the customer’s contact form are correctly filled in.
You don’t have to be a lawyer to realize that when the year changes, so should your copyright notice. The correct form for a website is usually Copyright (first year content is posted)-(current year), so if your website was first published in 2001, the copyright notice should read Copyright 2001-2013 now.
Review Images and Video
Check any photographs, graphics, cartoons, and videos posted on your site to make sure that you have the legal right to use them. If you licensed photos from a stock photo agency or illustrator when your site was first developed, you may have purchased an unlimited license – or, more commonly, you may have purchased a license for a specific time period – often 1, 3, or 5 years. Most stock photo houses will contact you when your license is about to expire – but if your site was designed by a freelancer or third-party, it’s up to you to check your receipts and invoices to make sure that you continue to own the rights to the images on your site.
Also, some images may not be renewable. If you licensed a photograph that shows a recognizable person, then the individual(s) in the photo as well as the photographer have rights that must be considered, and the photographer or stock photo house may need to purchase additional rights from the talent before they can update your license. So an annual check is a good way to avoid a copyright infringement suit you can’t win.
Protect Your Domain
One of the most valuable assets your company has is its domain name. That is the URL or web address your customers use to find you online. At least once a year, make sure that your domain registrar and the web hosting company that is hosting your site has current contact information for you. If they don’t, you’ll miss renewal notices that could cost you your domain name.
When you verify that your domain registration is still valid, and that the registrar has current contact information, there are some other things to check, too. Most importantly, you want to check that the domain is registered to the business owner, not a developer, graphics designer, or marketing person who may have created the site for you.
Several contacts are listed with most domain registrations. The most common are:
Review Website Content and Links
Small business owners are often so busy growing the business that content for the website may be the last thing on their minds. But the end of the year is the perfect time to take a fresh look at how your website displays on mobile devices, whether the content is fresh and appealing, and whether the information is up to date. Compare your site to your competitor’s websites, and make sure that you give customers and prospective customers a reason to visit often.
One of the most important things to do is to test all of the links on your website – those that link to other pages on your website, and any that link to outside content. Broken links make your site look unprofessional, and customers will usually move on quickly if they find a site with broken links. You can check all of the outbound links on your site quickly and easily with The World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) online link checker. This is included witht he free report
Last, but not least, make sure that your website review includes the hidden sections of your web site, including your content management system (CMS). If you have any password-protected areas, do the passwords need to be changed? If there was any staff turnover during the year, this may be essential, but it’s a good idea even if there was no staff turnover.
In addition to all of this get CR4L to do a performance and marketing website evaluation. Its FREE and can give you an insight to your website's performance and how to make some small but effective changes.
Just use the form below to get your FREE website evaluation
Read more athttp://www.cr4l.com/1/post/2013/11/7-end-of-year-website-checks-every-business-should-do.html
Get leads literally sent to your inbox every day of the week...
Have you tried blogging and article marketing but struggled to make it work?
One of the most difficult things is to find where to engage with potential purchasers. Where do you post the comments, articles and blogs? How do you stay relevant and up to the moment?
Well CR4L has developed a great way to make the process easier and get great results. At CR4L Results Marketing we are always looking for ways to get better results for our clients.
But we also realise that not everyone wants to pay someone to do the marketing for them. A lot of small businesses do self marketing. And inbound marketing is one of the best ways to market, and self market, because of the high return on investment.
But getting actual results eludes most self marketers So now we want to pass this excellent method of lead generation on to you; for free. And if you are not a self marketer but still want to get the full effect of the system, just ask CR4L to do it for you – we guaranteed results!
Summary of Report Content:
This, with a few refinements, is one of the most productive systems that we use at CR4L Results Marketing . It’s systems and techniques like these that enable us to get new leads for our clients every month. Best of all these systems mean that our fees stay low and we give our clients a fantastic return on their investment.
If you would like to have a constant stream of hot leads each and every month just visit the contact page and get in touch. CR4L offer a variety of marketing including inbound marketing systems like these that are guaranteed to work and get you a fantastic return on your investment.
Below is a visual representation* of how this entire system works (*see note below) ...
*Now I must confess that I have borrowed this particular system diagram... It actually comes from an amazing marketer called Frank Rumbauskas. Frank is a best-selling author and his subject is cold calling – or rather how to stop cold calling and start working smart. This system diagram is of the system that he sells. It follows the same steps as mine does but as you can imagine, having to pay for it, Frank goes in to a lot more detail.
The free version available here is simpler and lacks all the information that Frank no doubt has. So if you like what you have seen here and want more detailed instruction to make it work for your business just follow this link to buy Frank’s version: http://www.fasttrafficmachine.com/system.php
Outbound Marketing VS Inbound Marketing – Which is right for your business?
Are you exceeding your sales targets?
Or do you get to the end of the month and have to have a call blitz; 100 cold calls and no one wants to talk to you. There has to be a better way to get sales...
Most marketing up until the advent of the internet has been outbound or interruption marketing. This is everything from TV spots, newspaper adverts, cold calling, direct mail, and anything else that interrupts people with a message.
Now you can add to that list email marketing, banner adverts and pay per click (PPC) and similar online interruptions. Studies show that people viewing websites now automatically block out banner adverts. Anything that looks like an advert is less likely to be seen.
Most businesses still rely on outbound marketing but they are getting less and less return from it. Newspaper adverts no longer have the pull that they once did. There are more magazines than ever and it is becoming more difficult to reach your prospects.
So what so the answer?
In a recent article I suggest that all advertising should have a social media element to help engage with your audience. Now I suggest going one step further and having an inbound marketing campaign in operation at all times.
Inbound marketing includes SEO, content marketing, social media engagement, video, guerrilla tactics and more. Using a combination of tactics across several platforms is most effective. You can aim your inbound marketing accurately to where your target audience is.
The big advantage of inbound marketing is that you are not interrupting people with your message. Prospects come to you and come predisposed to purchase. Studies show that around 80% of people research a purchase before contacting a business. Inbound marketing puts your business at the top of the searches and in front of prospective purchasers.
Here are some interesting statistics about inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing tends to be less expensive and give a better return on investment. However it is no so immediate as outbound marketing. With outbound I can place an advert in a Sunday paper and have calls on the Monday. How many and how good the leads are is another matter.
Which is best for your business?
Inbound marketing takes time to build and the effect comes after several months of effort. So a combination approach, especially in the early months, is always recommended. However many businesses have already found inbound to be more effective and have now dropped outbound completely.
Some businesses are more suitable to inbound and others must retain at least an element of outbound. Striking the correct balance will come over time. I suggest starting a program of inbound marketing to see what returns you get over 12 to 18 months.
Once you can clearly see that this will work for your business you can commit more fully to it. The future for most businesses will involve increasing amounts of inbound marketing and for a large number of companies this will become the model for future marketing.
Interruption marketing is harder to make work. It is far better to be a business people are talking about and engaging with regularly. In this way when a purchase is to be made your company is the first choice. This takes time and concerted effort, but I believe it is worth it and will give you a sustainable marketing model that gives a great ROI for the future.
For more information on how Inbound Marketing can work for your business get in touch with Alex and the CR4L team.Contact Us or use the form below...
How to Shoot Great Looking Video Clips for Nothing
Free Self Marketing tips
If you want to know more about self marketing then fill in the form below.