[By Jeff Androsko]
"Wow... look at this website! When I mouse-over their logo, a cat meows. WHAT'S THIS?! 'Last updated: 1991'?! Oh well... back to Google."
This behavior is precisely what's going on when your website visitors notice your pages have shoulderpads, cassette Walkmans and MC Hammer pants.
Seriously though... ask yourself... what is the purpose of your website? Are you trying to attract sales leads? When you research companies on the web with intentions to purchase, don't you get turned off if the site is anything less than stellar? You can't afford to have stale content on your website; it's a deal-breaker in the world of internet marketing and sales.
That's why keeping your site's look and information fresh with a Content Management System (CMS) is key. A CMS is more or less a back-end portal to your website; it allows you to manipulate the text, pictures and SEO value of your site's content.
So what is the big deal? Your website only needs to have information about your company on it, right? Nope. Here's why your site's stale content is ruining your potential for online sales:
So what's it going to be
- It Looks Unprofessional
If you were kind enough to set up a time for me to give a sales presentation on my product, then I showed up and asked you where your Betamax machine was because that's where I had my notes, you'd laugh me out of the room and wonder why I wasted your time. The same courtesy and professionalism goes for your website. Keep it interesting and fresh in order to look the part.
- Your Leads Are Non-Existent
Just because your site is equipped with one "contact us" form, doesn't mean you're capturing warm sales leads. If your visitors can't access you easily (forms, social media, phone numbers), they're going to leave your site and go back their Google search results; bringing me conveniently to my next point...
- You Aren't Competing For Keyword Rankings
Google crawls websites for their rich SEO value based on keywords, page titles, meta descriptions, social media connectivity, clout, inbound links and textual content. Even if you had your website's content optimized during its inception, that data needs to change based on trends, competitors and the evolution of your products and services.
: online brochure that has an animated milkshake that talks, or a findable, interesting, fresh, interactive tool that helps you capture sales leads? Learn more about the value of your website by visiting our Inbound Marketing page
. Until then, take a look at your website (if you have one) and put yourself in the shoes of the consumer; is your site memorable enough to be a top competitor for their purchase?
If you can't figure it out on your own, try our free website grader
. It will show you exactly where your website's holes are and how to fill them.
[By Tony Popowski]
Your brand is the foundation of all your marketing initiatives. From the way your receptionist answers the phone to the design of you newsletter, everything your company does reflects your brand. It's critical to stay true to your brand, so it's a good idea to review everything your company is doing to ensure a consistent message is being conveyed to your audience. Take a look at the following elements of your company:
A great way to enhance brand awareness and complement your existing marketing program is to partake in cause marketing. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, cause marketing is when your company partners up with a charity or non-profit or helps out a charitable cause. This helps you get your name out there to the public all while giving back to your community. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.
When you're deciding on what cause you want to endorse, there are two main things you should consider:
Is the cause personal for my staff and company?
What resources can I invest into the cause?
If a cause is appropriately matched with your company, then it will mean something for your team and you'll get more buy-in from your staff. If one of your employees has been impacted by a particular disease or issue, that's a a good cause to fight for. Your staff will be motivated to work towards helping out a fellow colleauge.
Many businesses avoid cause marketing because they believe it will be expensive. However, there are things such as simply promoting the cause to your customer database or handing out fundraising forms that can really make the difference for a charity.
Here is an excellent example of cause marketing. This weekend, one of our clients,
HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospitals of New Jersey, is sponsoring the American Heart Association's 2011 Shoreline Heart Walk. The Walk will raise money to battle heart disease. The event makes sense for the organization: it's personal to its staff, it has local ties to the community and the HealthSouth team has fundraised and will walk this weekend in Asbury Park, NJ. If you would like to donate to the Walk, please visit www.shorelineheartwalk.org.
Cause marketing is an excellent way to support others and build a better brand!