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Getting your copy RIGHT!

Getting your copy rightTo create an effective website that converts visitors into clients, the text (copy) on a website needs to hit all the right buttons to have the desired effect. What you say on your site is vital to its success but how it is written is equally as important. A poorly written article with bad layout will quickly drive visitors away from your site and onto your competitors. Below are a few easy pointers to get your copy heading in the right direction:

1. The first bite is with the Eye.

First impressions count so make sure your site is not too heavy with its content. Too much text is an instant turn-off. People don’t want to read “War and Peace” on your site.

Keep your paragraphs short and straight to the point. Try not to waffle. Instead, talk to your potential clients like they are in the room with you. This will help to develop a relationship with them even before they get in touch with you. Break your text up with dot points, lists and use bold / italics to create areas of text that stand out to drive certain information home.

2. Create content that talks at your client’s level of expertise.

This can be a balancing act. You need to convey the right amount and type of information but you need to keep jargon to a minimum. On the other hand, you need to be very careful that you don’t sound condescending and simplistic. Make your copy is written in a friendly, educative way to pass on the right vibes. Get someone without your level of knowledge to proofread your content before posting onto your website. Be ready to receive constructive criticism and respond to it.

Once again, keep the information in useful, small paragraphs that won’t create reader fatigue.

3. Dot your I’s and cross your T’s

Sometimes the simplest things are ones that are overlooked. No matter how great your content is and whether it is aimed at the right audience or not, nothing looks worse that reading a section of text that is not grammatically correct. As with the last tip, if you have problems with your grammar, pass on your text to a friend who can check it for spelling and punctuation. Your business’ professional image depends on your text being spot-on in all aspects.

Follow these three easy tips and you will have professional copy content in palatable, easy-to-swallow chunks. If you still find this hard to manage, don’t forget that you can also use a professional copywriter to spruce up your information. The bottom line is to get that content into a form that your potential clients can understand and respond to in a positive way for your business.

Podcast #7 – Social Media – Which is best for your business?

In the ever-changing online world, one thing seems to be staying consistent and that is the continual development of Social Media.  Rather than being a fad that will go away, Social Media is a growth industry and the main players have evolved to suit the changing nature of their users.

As a business, you need to be crazy not to incorporate some form of Social Media into your marketing strategy. But which ones are suitable for your business? You could take an all-bases attitude and have each one covered however if you are “flying solo” like me, this can take a considerable chunk of your time away from the key roles in your business.

Let’s have a look at the top four, how they are used and whether they are suitable for business use:

#1 – Facebook

The big Daddy. Great for socially engaging with your customers and can be used in effective ways to market your business and study your clientele. For example, Black Milk Clothing uses their Facebook page as an integral part of their strategy to gather information from their clients, what they are choosing to wear and what they want to purchase next.  If your client is strictly B2B (business to business), Facebook probably won’t be of much use to you because you need social information about (or interaction with) your customers.

Suitable for: Businesses that provide personal services and required social interaction.

#2 – Twitter

Twitter allows the user to generate instantaneous news updates about their business and the industry that are being catered for. It also can be used to great effect in establishing oneself as an expert in a field and a key person of influence. Stephanie Sullivan, a leading web programmer and advocate of the online world, uses Twitter regularly to post news and her latest information. Through her consistent, quality tweets, she has managed to create a following of thousands. This popularity has led to Stephanie becoming a sort-after key note speaker at conferences around the world.

Suitable for:  Solo Operators and Businesses.

#3 – Google+

Google+ is very similar to Facebook in some ways and very different in others. From a business perspective, being able to group your clients into your business circle only allows you to use the same social media platform for both work and play. It does not have the same magnitude of users as Facebook, however being backed by one of the biggest companies in the world ensures that it will not go quietly into the night. Its user base grows every day and, a big plus, has a great integration with Google Hangouts.

Suitable for: Businesses who need to network with other professionals.

#4 – Linked In

Linked-In is generally known as the professional’s network and it allows businesses to link individuals who can come from a wide variety of fields. For example, on my Linked-In profile, I have links to a number of my clients. However the real value comes from links to mutually beneficial professionals that support my field of business such as copywriters, printers and business coaches. Linked-In’s usage can be a little slow to start but builds great momentum once you gain a few professionals in your network.

Suitable for: All types of businesses once the initial network has been established. It is just the thing for B2B networking.

#5 – What else is out there?

Try Youtube for a new type of Social Media. If you are unsure of its capabilities, take a read of Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush it!” – and you will discover a whole new power to Youtube.

 

In conclusion, there is just one question that you need to ask yourself before signing on for any Social Media for your business: What is your ideal client using? Hopefully, after you have read the above and evaluated each of the platforms, you should be able to determine the answer to this if you know your clients fairly well.

If not, a very simple step could be to ask your clients the next time you interact with them,  or alternatively, make the enquiry part of your initial research into any new customers. Social Media must not be ignored; it has too many benefits and can help you drive your business up to the next level in its marketing effectiveness.

 

Small Business Websites – What’s in it for me?

Small Business OwnerA couple of months ago, as 2014 arrived on our doorsteps, everyone was looking at those all important New Year’s resolutions. They all start the same – In 2014, I will lose 5 kg – In 2014, I will spend more time with my family – In 2014, I will take the family on an overseas holidays. As always, some are much easier to keep than others (depending on how hard or lofty the goal is).

Business owners would have undoubtedly put together some resolutions of their own. One of those goals may have been to boost the profits/productivity of the business by a certain percentage. Another might be to get the business online in 2014. At this point, the owner/operator may get hit with the all familiar question – does my small business need a website?

A couple of years ago, I would have said the answer would be NO for a number of businesses however with the continued growth of the online world and increasing number of “web-savvy” consumers, my thoughts on this topic have changed dramatically.

Before I go any further, I know that you are sitting there reading this and saying to yourself “Of course this bloke is going to tell me to get a website – that’s what he does!” Read on and you will see that it makes more sense than ever to get your business online.

Forget yourself as the business owner and think of yourself as a consumer. How do you find a business for the first time? Do you:

a) Drive around the streets of your town looking at signs and hoping that you find what you are looking for?

b) Pull out the biggest book in your house (normally the Yellow Pages) and leaf through to the area that you need and hope that you choose a trustworthy and reliable business?

c) Search online for your required business, check out their website with accompanying list of services and products along with testimonials from satisfied customers.

If you are a web-savvy member of today’s world, I’m guessing that your answer will be (c).

Of course, the Yellow Pages and Local Directories all have their online homes now and this will generally feature at the top of most search results. One downside to relying on them for advertising is that, without a website, all potential customers will see is your name, address and contact information. They don’t include any detail on your business background, services or past work and this is where your business website comes into its own.

Case study: Barbie’s Hair-Salon

After building a solid client base, Barbie’s Hair and Nails has expanded its services in order to build and grow their business. Using traditional methods (i.e. Yellow Pages), Barbie’s will potentially need to wait a full year to add the new services to their advertisements. Until then, the only way to find out about the new offerings is by visiting the store, traditional media advertising or via “word of mouth”. With a website, Barbie’s can send out the message straight away, with no wait time. They could even annouce the changes through an e-newsletter that website visitors have previously subscribed to.

Case Study #2: Robbo’s Lawn Mowing

Robbo has built a solid business throughout his local region offering quality lawn mowing. New clients currently see his bright coloured mowing trailers with their distinctive advertising and can call the phone number shown on them. However, by only utilising this form of advertising, Robbo is missing out on expanding the business to any nearby areas, as anyone outside the region will not see these trailers. With a website, people can find Robbo’s Lawn Mowing from anywhere (in the world!) and see what is on offer and read testimonials from his satisfied clients.

Conclusion

Please note that I am not advocating the complete desertion of old marketing tools like the Yellow Pages, some consumers still rely on them heavily and they do rank very well in Google Search results. Your own website can actually be added to your phone directory profile – adding extra punch to your marketing power. This ensures that even if you are found on their directories, potential clients can be directed in your website for more information on your services, your current satisfied clients and any new services you have on offer.

Can your business boost its productivity and growth through the addition of a website to your marketing arsenal?

Does your website need some love?

Web MakeoverThe internet is getting older (23 years old now!) and accordingly, some of the sites online are starting to show their age. As I have blogged in previous posts, the look of your site (and how it works) can often determine whether a site visitor converts into a customer. It’s time to take a good hard at your site and determine whether it needs a makeover!

1. Can you maintain your own site?

Fresh content on your site is still the king when it comes to engaging your customers if not attracting the attention of Google (not quite as important as it used to be). To allow easy updating and contributions to your site, do you have a CMS (content management system) installed? Joomla and WordPress are two of the most popular options at the moment allowing site managers to add information and expand their sites without involving a web designer/programmer. If you can’t do this to your own site, maybe it is time for an upgrade.

2. Does Your Site Still Work?

Some site owners may not even know the answer to this question because their websites have been neglected for so long. Jump online, load up your site on your favourite browser and pretend to be a customer for a while. Do all the navigation links still function? Is the site content relevant to today’s target market? Can you purchase items successfully via your online store? Haven’t been getting much business via your site? This might be the reason!

3. Do You Have a Frankensite?

If a site has been online for a number of years and you (and your employees) have continued to add content/imagery/pages to it, the site may have become what is known a Frankensite. A Frankensite is a website that has lost its direction and now looks like a freakshow of links, scattered text and irrelevant images. The pages have plenty of information to sift through but no real goal or call to action. Site visitors may even get a little lost in there. It’s time to sort out the garbage with an online purge or maybe a full re-design.

4. Got a Flash website?

Is your site is written in Flash? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are your site is no longer visible on a majority of people’s smart phones. Apple and Android do not natively support Flash (Apple never did) and, as a result, if your site is written is coded in Flash, visitors won’t see a thing. If only small components of the site are, those won’t appear either. With the advent of CSS3, PHP and HTML3, Flash is a dinosaur that is fast becoming extinct.

5. Is Your Site Social?

No need to explain the benefits of Social Media here but if your site does not incorporate feeds from your Social Media channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc), then you are not utilising your site to its maximum benefit. With modern day CMS’, you can quite easily add the platforms into your website and drag customers through that online door. In addition to attracting potential customers, every time you update your Social Media with a post or tweet, your site will automatically display that as fresh content.

If you own or manage a site, take the time to divert from your day-to-day business and log onto your website. Considering the points above, check what you have online and see if work needs to be done to enable your website to become the effective marketing tool it should be.

Don’t forget, the team at Rusty Mango Design are specialists in their field and can help you with any of the above issues with little fuss and great results. Get in touch with us today.

 

Rusty Mango Design

Rusty Mango Design