5 Mistakes People Make when Writing Web Content

Posted by: on Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Web content is more than just words on a page to fill space on your website. Search engines use it as a major component to decide page ranking. Customers use it to find out about your company and its products.

If not done right, web content can actually turn people away from your website. Getting it right is the only way to bring people to your website and keep them there long enough to become leads. When doing a corporate website redesign, make quality content a priority.

Here are five common mistakes people make with web content writing:

  1. Plagiarizing the content of other websites
    This may sound like a great idea. It is a quick way to get content fast and it sounds good. Problems exist though. Plagiarizing is fraud. It is taking someone else's intellectual property and calling it your own. Also, the stolen content will not do the business much good with search engines. Search engines hate duplicate content. The business website will be last in the rankings. The other company will suffer the same fate as well.

  2. Making all the content sound like marketing speak
    Who likes a constant sales pitch? Who likes to hear a sales rep doing a pitch in person? Almost no one likes either. Making content sound like marketing speak is a major mistake. The website needs to offer quality content that people want to read. This quality content will catch their eye and make them want to come back. In addition, search engines love good content versus sales speak. During a corporate website redesign, keep the marketing speak out of the web content equation.

  3. Using way too many words
    Redundant phrases, clichés, fluff, and expletive constructions are all ways that web content can inflate with too many words. For example, look at this sentence: "There are thirty executives chomping at the bit to become the CIO of the really big Company X." Too many words plague this sentence. A more concise version is "Thirty qualified executives want the CIO job at Company X."

  4. Trying to do it themselves
    Unless you or an employee is a professional content writer, doing it yourself is not a good idea. Awkward writing, bad grammar, and misspelling can turn website visitors off. In addition, web content writers know how to craft content to make it attractive to search engine bots. To get your website noticed, make the content quality the highest priority.
  5. Failing to get to the point
    Even though you want to give quality content, you need to keep focused on converting visitors into leads and leads into paying customers. Each page of content needs to have a purpose. The page must contain a call-to-action that leads them further towards doing what you want them to do. For example, do you want them to give their name and email? Then offer them the option to sign up for an email newsletter in exchange for their name and email.

Bringing in the professionals for web content writing is important. They know how to keep the content tight and focused on the message. They can give quality content without a great deal of marketing speak, but still make the company's case.

They now how to insert call-to-actions in the mix to generate leads and convert leads to sales. Get professional web content done right to maximize your corporate website redesign efforts.

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Are You Faking Your Way in Social Media?

Posted by: on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sharing personal thoughts and information is a part of life. People want to share important things in their lives with people they know. That is why you get a lot of business talk during parties.

As a host or hostess, you may be getting sick of people talking business at your party. However, it shows that the people you invite want to share a part of themselves with those around them. 

In the past few years, social media has become a way that people share their thoughts and opinions. Often those thoughts and opinions extend to business. Businesses are playing a part in many of these conversations, whether they know it or not.

Many companies are faking their way through social media. That is a fact that most will not admit since many do not realize it. Bad use of social media can actually backfire and hurt your company. To avoid this, your company needs to use social media the right way to make the most of it.

How do you promote your business in social media without "selling"? 

When putting together your company website, the mantra you hear today is "content, content, content." That is what drives search engines to websites these days. Well, you need to offer the same thing on social media. 

Let's say you sell small kitchen appliances. You have a crock pot in stock you want to promote. Here are some ways to sell that crock pot without actually "selling' it:

  • Tips and Tricks - Offer tips and tricks on how to cook with a crock pot. You can offer quick tips through Twitter. You can post a quick trick on Facebook. In that social media message, you can point them back to your website where you offer more tips and tricks, along with a subtle link to your new crock pot.
  • Ways to Use Product - Post recipes that would work well with your crock pot. At the end, you can create a link that goes directly to the crock pot that works wonders with the recipe.
  • Seasonal - Create seasonal themed messages. Using the crock pot, come up with recipes and tips using seasonal ingredients. Or come up with a menu for a particular holiday like Easter or Thanksgiving. Then mention that a crock pot would make this meal preparation much easier.

You get the picture. You need to give quality information while linking your product or service into the message subtly. 

What are people saying about you?

Most business experts will tell you the best advertisement is word of mouth. That is as true today as it was a century ago. The biggest difference is that much of that conversation is happening in the virtual world instead of face-to-face. Do you know what people are saying about you and your company?

Look at what people are saying about your company online. 

  • Check social media streams.
  • Look at industry-related forums.
  • Look at customer rating sites.

if you have never done this before. You may get a pleasant surprise. On the other hand, you may get a shock. Listening to what people are saying is actually a way to figure out how best to market your company. 

You can use vicarious marketing to increase your revenue streams. Listen to what others are saying about you. You can begin to influence that talk with positive content and positive comments from happy customers. Give it some time and you will see any negative comments going away like a light breeze. It will be a distance memory as your customers sing your praises. 

Stop faking your way through social media and start taking charge of your company's public image.

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Can You Really Measure ROI in a Website?

Posted by: on Monday, March 11, 2013

Are you throwing away money on your website? Measuring just how much value you are getting from your website is difficult for some businesses.

They may get plenty of traffic through their website, but cannot track how much is actually providing revenue to the business. It is important to track the ROI to make sure you are getting the most out of your website.

The equation for ROI (return on investment) is simple enough. 

  1. Calculate Cost of Investment - When calculating before making a change, you first need to estimate how much revenue increase you will see by making the change and use it as the cost of investment. If you are calculating ROI after the change, you take the amount of revenue increase you know came from the change as the cost of investment.

  2. Calculate Net Gain - Deduct the cost of investment from the potential revenue increase to find the net gain.

  3. Calculate ROI - Then divide the net gain by the cost of the investment. That number is the return on ROI.

Return on investment is not all based on numbers. There are intangible benefits you need to keep in mind when thinking about your website. 

  • What does a good website do for your business?
Think about what a first time visitor takes from your website. If you present a professional website with informative content, the visitor will have a positive impression. If you present an ill-designed website with very little content, the visitor will have a negative impression. A good website will give visitors that critical positive first impression. It makes them more likely to trust your brand. That is the first step towards becoming a lead or a paying customer.
  • How does a bad website impact your business?
When someone visits your site, they come with certain expectations. They want to find the information they are looking for without hassle. They want to see a professional website with high quality content. If you are not meeting those expectations, you have a bad website. A bad website loses you money every day. Instead of visitors staying around and signing up to become a lead, they are leaving as soon as they see the first page of your website.
  • Does your website do what you want it to do?
What is your website missing? Many first time websites are basic. They do not have a lot of functionality. Businesses learn to work around these deficiencies because they have no other immediate choice. With only a basic website, you are leaving plenty of revenue off the table. When doing a redesign, plan on adding the functionality you need. The extra investment will pay off in better leads and increased revenue.
  • How many leads do you get from your current website?
When you pull up your website analytics, how many people have signed up to become leads? This is something you need to check at least a couple times a week. It is important to maximize your lead generation in order to increase your revenue opportunities. So, how many leads do you get every week? How many do you want to get? If those numbers are not the same, then you need a website redesign.

Once you look at the ROI numbers and the intangible benefits, you can make an informed decision on whether a website redesign or major update is in your website's near future. The reality is that you need a fresh and dynamic website to capture visitors' attention. Making the investment will payoff in many ways that you calculate and that you cannot. 

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Why Not Redesigning Your Website is a Mistake

Posted by: on Friday, March 8, 2013

When was the last time you redesigned your website? You may make occasional updates on prices or posts to your company blog. But, when was the last time you did a major redesign or update?

You might be saying, "I don’t have time to update my website." The reality is that if you have not made a major redesign or update in the past couple of years, you are making a big mistake.

This mistake could be costing you in lost leads and revenue potential. With advancing technology and emerging marketing techniques, it is important to keep your website up to date and focused on leading visitors into your sales funnel.

Here are some questions you need to ask:

  • Are you asking "Do I really need to?" The idea of undertaking a major revamp of a website can intimidate many people. But, today's market is passing you by if you do not. Consumers are becoming more sophisticated and expecting more out of the companies they do business with. If you think you can keep your old website for many more years, you are making a major mistake. So the answer is, "Yes, you really need to."

  • One question you need to ask is "What’s new since I built the last one?" If your website is older than a couple of years, you are missing new things in terms of design and content requirements. Google's search engine algorithms have changed radically in the past couple of years. Content is becoming increasingly important for ranking high in search engine results. Your website needs to leverage these changes so you can increase your business.

  • When you are ready to undergo the redesign or update, you need to answer the question"What can I do prepare?" A redesign offers you a chance to look at your entire business and make any changes you want. First, stand back and take a look at your marketing efforts. Do you need to update your marketing efforts? Do you want to add more functionality to your website and tie it into your business model? In order to prepare for the redesign, take time to look at what you have, what you want to add, and what you need to add. Also consider what you want to remove. If something is no longer working, get rid of it.

  • Before the redesign starts, you need to start considering the question "How can I measure if the new site is on track?" When you are contemplating a website redesign, you need to take measurements of where your site is now. You can use an analytics program that will show you traffic numbers and other important information. Once your website redesign up and running, take a new set of numbers. Hopefully, you will start to see new traffic visiting. That will tell you if your new site is on track or not.

Answering these questions can take you on a journey to update your website and start to take advantage of the opportunities that are currently slipping you buy. Increase your business revenues by bringing more visitors to your site with a website redesign.

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