<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Ignite Your Site: November 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Black Friday, Cyber Monday - It's that time of year again!

With the economy slowing to a crawl, and businesses desperately looking to increase profits, the holiday season is now upon us. The unofficial start to the holiday shopping season is black Friday and for some retailers it couldn't come any quicker.

What does this all mean for my business?
It's time to start dishing out the deals. Whether you are a small mom and pop shop or a fortune 500, this is the time to offer deals to your customers. They are expecting it and will demand it in some cases. So why not make everyone happy and come up with a great deal for the holidays? Or better yet come up with a limited time offer for this coming weekend?

What better way to attract interest then making something available for a short period of time? The urge to have something before it is gone, is usually enough to fill a store, or at the very least have people talking about it.

How do I get the word out?
Email blasts and banners on your website are probably two of the easiest and fastest ways to notify people. Email blasts work great for getting your existing customers back to the store, and banner ads will ensure that any new visitors are aware of the great deals as well.

If you don't have a large following yet you can always pay to advertise. The quickest way to get going is usually pay-per-click through Google Adwords or any of the other PPC companies. It's relatively quick and easy to have some ads setup and running within a few hours. This is great for the last minute planner who needs to get the word out quick.

But what do I have to offer?
What don't you have to offer. Whether it's a product or a service that your company provides you have deals that can be made. Lets say you are a chimney cleaning business, why not offer 1 free cleaning with the scheduling of a regular cleaning by December 1st? If you have products you can always offer buy 1 and get one half off, or free or whatever works best for your business model.

Free shipping is always a great way to give your customers a little treat. Many times shipping is what people look at as a deciding factor in where they will purchase their items. So why not take that factor and make it void, offering free shipping might drive more traffic then you originally thought.

Remember: It's not about the quantity, but rather the quality of the discount!

Ignite MediaLLC, Ignite Your Site™
Website Design & Development eCommerce Development Search Engine Optimization

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Question A Day - Will Bring Visitors?

How many times have you gone to a search engine and typed in a question? I know I do it all the time. The search engines have almost become like a "customer service representative" for the internet. You type your question and they come back with a list of places that might work for you. So why not use this to your advantage on your own website?

Become the answer they are looking for:
Why not create pages based around different questions. For example if you own a website that sells clothes for children and in your brick-and-mortar store you hear the question "What does 2T and 3T really mean in terms of size", why not create a page explaining the T system of sizing? You've now answered not only your existing customers questions but you have the chance of being found by people who may never have heard of you before.

What if I can't think of the questions:
Without a doubt there are questions in your industry, it's just a matter of finding the most valuable ones to be answered. There are new tools being offered by some companies such as WordTracker that allow you to see some of the questions people have typed into the search engines. This is extremely helpful because these questions were actually asked on a search engine, not something made-up, or guessed at. Take a few of these and there you go, some new content to add to the site.

Do I just add the pages, where do they go?
The best place to put these pages would be in a support area of your site. Even if you have to create one and it looks small at first, over time it will grow. One section could be commonly asked questions, another could be white paper downloads on your products, etc. Creating a section like this on your site is giving your visitors a resource to keep coming back to and to tell other people about. They don't have to buy anything to browse it and feel like they are getting the world.

Remember: Sometimes it's about answering the question before providing the need.

Ignite MediaLLC, Ignite Your Site™
Website Design & Development eCommerce Development Search Engine Optimization

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Local SEO - Targeting Your Neighborhood

Many companies think that SEO is only for the large corporations that have offices and customers nation and world wide. This however, is not the case. SEO is for every company and/or website, it's just a matter of how you go about optimizing your site.

Home Grown SEO
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website for local phrases. So if you have a website that deals with plumbing for your local area and some of the surrounding areas, local SEO is perfect for you. You aren't going to travel to California for a plumbing job (unless the client was picking up all the costs!), so you want to target people in your area.'

The best and most effective way to target local searchers would be to use your town, city, state names throughout the site. So instead of just saying Plumbing Services, you might change that to Reno Plumbing Services, or perhaps, Reno Nevada Plumbing Services.

Don't forget the phone number and zip code
Another way to get people to your site based on local searches is to be sure you have your phone number listed on your site in text. Many times people who are looking for local businesses online will search with the area code as a prefix or suffix to the search (ie: plumbing services + 203). This goes for zip codes as well.

Just think about the different ways in which you signify a local business and chances are you will have another way to optimize your website for local searches.

Remember: When writing copy for your website, or building out the template be sure you have your local phrases worked in, without being annoying about it!

Ignite MediaLLC, Ignite Your Site™
Website Design & Development eCommerce Development Search Engine Optimization

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