For Event Promoters: A simple fix to prevent wasted time and energy

As part of my business, I also manage a blog for a client. To create new content for this blog, I often have to research events using websites and social media. A big waste of my time occurs when an event listing contains no information about whether there is an entrance price for the event.

IMG_7867When I need to find out whether or not there is an entrance fee, and if so, how much it costs, I usually have to contact the event organizers or the exhibition hosts. If I am doing my research during normal business hours, I can typically call them. If I am researching outside of normal business hours, I have to send an email, or message them on their Facebook page.

Either way, it takes time for me to contact them. On their end, the person answering the phone or responding to emails has to take the time to reply with the information I need. Continue reading

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Get Your Website Ready for Holiday Shopping Season

IMG_0190If you have a small retail business and want to make sure your website is ready for the upcoming holiday shopping season, there’s not much time left.

But there’s good news: some of the things you can do right now are easy and do not take a lot of time. Continue reading

Stand out from Competitors by Taking Your Own Stock Photos

Nowadays, instead of pictures being worth 1000 words, social media has come to rely on pictures having space for at least a handful of words.

I’ve seen a lot of discussions lately on use of images to catch the eyes of people scrolling by on Facebook or Twitter. Many of those discussions also warn about the danger of scooping images off the internet and using them in your own posts. Ask my friend about that danger. He had to pay a sizable sum to Getty Images because he made that blunder last year. Now, he himself takes many of the photos he uses for his business.

There are many sites where you can access free images, but I’m not here to talk about those. One of the problems I’ve noticed with those sites is that you start to see the same image in posts by dozens of other people. Continue reading

What’s the difference between a home page and a landing page?

The term “landing page” appears frequently when folks talk about online advertising and sales. But how does it differ from your website’s home page?

Home Page

A home page is the front page of your website. It’s what visitors see when they type in your URL. It introduces visitors to your business, and provides a clear selection of navigation tools – such as the tab bar across the top – so that a visitor can find specific information they want about your products or services. Continue reading

Alternatives to Translating Your Entire Website

I’m going to let you in on a big secret: Not every business needs to translate its entire website in order to reach customers that don’t speak their native language.

It’s true.

On a sheet of paper, make a list in one column for all of the pages on your website. Each of these pages is a way to reach out to customers, right? Do you have some landing pages online? Include those, too. Continue reading

Exorcise the Ghosts of Businesses Past

Everyone is talking about the KonMari method for cleaning your house, but how can you KonMari your business? Here’s a tip… get rid of social media accounts for businesses you no longer have or products/services you no longer offer!

Companies don’t always go out of business because they have failed. Sometimes, an owner wants to retire and there’s no one who wants to take over the business for them. Sometimes, an owner has simply found or been offered a better opportunity.

Unfortunately, former or potential customers don’t always get the memo that a business no longer exists. The internet has a long memory – especially if the company does not delete its social media presences.

Often, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts remain and stagnate. Former or potential customers are unsure if the business is gone, or if it is still around and just inactive on social media. Some businesses establish a social media page and then never update it at all, which adds to the “Are they out-of-business, or are they just not active here?” confusion. These ghosts of past businesses are frustrating for customers. Continue reading

The 5 Whys of Website Traffic

5_whys_website_traffic

“If you build it, he will come.” So goes the memorable line from the movie Field of Dreams. Often, this is also what people think when they build a website – “If I build it, customers will come!”

Whether you are a small business, a nonprofit, a consultant, or a creative writer, you might think that having a website will automatically make you visible to potential customers or readers. But is being visible enough to convert website visitors to actual sales?

If your website is the most important part of your online marketing efforts — and yet you find yourself wondering why you don’t get enough traffic or why you just can’t seem to get your website visitors to buy your products, books, or services — it helps to think your way through what you really want your website to do for your potential customers.

Here are five “Whys” you should ask yourself, to determine if your website is meeting the needs of your potential customer, and if it’s making the case for them to buy your product or use your service. Continue reading