This is a guide for using Facebook for marketing.
Facebook is the top social site in the world with over 500MM active users. If you aren’t using Facebook for marketing, you are missing out on an effective marketing medium. Many people have been using Facebook to help market their products and services instead of a website! Of course that may sound ludicrous, but it has been happening, because you have a captive audience with Facebook, most of the users keep their page open, even at work.
So how do you strategically use Facebook for marketing? First you need to have a page for your product or service. Developing a fan page is really easy, but getting fans of that page requires more than just page set up.
You’ll want to place a Facebook “Like” button on your website, and your blog. Also invite your Twitter followers to “Like” you on Facebook. The reason for this is very simple: while search engines love back links, there is one thing they love more, and that’s action. When there is action on a page, such as clicking the “like” button, making comments, and responding to those comments, it keeps the page “active” which means it gets more attention.
Once you’ve started your fan page, you will want to offer something free to those fans who follow you on Facebook. A few years ago, at work, my supervisor was fixing something. I could hear her, but the customers couldn’t. She kept whispering “Give them something free.” to me. I thought she was going to peg me for stealing! I thought it was a trick. Years later another manager kept switching me with a less experienced worker. She was always undercharging the customers, and I knew it! Turns out, he wanted her to “give them something free” too. These people knew the power of “Free Stuff” and it’s something I had to learn. I was always the straight arrow, but the value of free stuff in marketing is immeasurable. So “Give them something free” should be your daily mantra.
Plan events and invite your “fans” to those events. You will get RSVPs from them that will give you a clue as to which events actually help improve your business.
Facebook also sells ads, if you would like to pay for ads on Facebook, this is another way of marketing your product, service, or website.
Make sure that you respond to comments on your page, and if anyone is complaining that you address the complaints right away. It’s very important that your fans keep liking you. There is no greater power than having a group to help you market your business.
A final word about using Facebook, use it wisely. Don’t go spamming pages with unrelated information. In other words, don’t go to another fan page and try to sell your product by making a comment and including a link to your website. All that will do is get you reported, flagged, and eventually banned.
If you would like to have Facebook Marketing done for you professionally, contact us at 713.789.8699 to learn how we can help you grow your business with Social Media.
If you have or are building a website, you cannot ignore the importance of SEO. SEO is Search Engine Optimization, and if you need an in depth tutorial for that, it can be very time consuming. Because of this, people often spend money for a website that gets them nothing in return. No traffic, no sales, and no money. If this sounds like you, you have come to this page because you already know that. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some pay for a website that is supposed to be built for them, and have excellent SEO, and they get gypped. You will hear from them, they will tell you SEO is a scam. It isn’t.
You cannot ignore the importance of SEO for your website. If you notice, although I have said it before, I said it again. That’s how SEO works. Your title must be a phrase that you can use in the web page. If you chose to use your name for your website name, then you must make that name “brand-able”. You’ve seen it before, people who, for whatever reason, have a very recognized name. Cher, for instance, and Paris Hilton. Enter Perez Hilton. He branded himself, and if you don’t know who he is, Google his name.
Now Google yours. If your website bears your name, then you want to command the whole page of Google. If you don’t then you need better SEO. Think of it as better press.
No matter what your website is for, you can’t ignore the importance of SEO. Google commands approximately 70% to 80% of the search traffic on any given day. The reason for this is that there are so many websites out there, that most people don’t even try typing in the address bar anymore, Google search is quicker, and easier. All you have to know is the name you are looking for. Let’s try another one. Google Total Gym.
I’m sure looking at the next screen shot will tell you a lot more about SEO than any tutorial can. Notice how the title and the description use many of the same keywords.
Those highlighted in pink at the top, and the group on the right hand side, are ads. People are paying to get those high rankings, which means that Google also walked them through the ad design process, or they paid someone to do the SEO for them. You may pay for adwords, but that does not guarantee high ranking. Google Adwords insists that you design a good ad, they don’t want to look bad.
The ones in the center are not ads and used excellent SEO practices to get where they are. Some of them underwent the time consuming education, while others may have used trial and error, starting more than one website and comparing results. Others have paid someone to design their website. This is the most important lesson you can learn. SEO gets you on the front page of Google, and that makes it important for your website.
SEO involves knowing the ropes as well as the jargon. One of the worst problems with the tutorial is that the words used are not simplified so we can understand them. The other problem SEO is having too much, which is obvious when you feel like the words on page are being said over and over. The other is having too little. There is a fine line between being repetitive, and being interesting.
If you don’t have the proper SEO knowledge, I suggest you take the time to learn. In the meantime, if you have the money, you may wish to get help from one of the many reputable services out there. I never advise people to spend money to make money. In this case your losses could far outweigh what you will spend to have the SEO done for you. The upside is that if you get the right service, you will be learning at the same time.
If you’re doing business on line, you are one of those smart individuals who have realized the importance of having a website. The importance of having a professional website should be obvious, but many people, with the economy the way it is, have resorted to free websites. Those free sites may seem great to have, but a professionally designed website can be the difference between success and having your site remain in obscurity.
While I often say that almost all information you can buy on line can be had for free, it must be said that a professional website is never free. Whether you spend the time it takes to learn all of the code it takes to build a web site, or you can hire a professional, the cost is there. It’s that simple. If you go cheap, you will end up paying more. If you hire a professional website designer, you will be much more likely to convert customers into leads, generate steady traffic, and it can greatly increase page views and transaction amounts.
A professional website builder will take the bulk of the time out of that equation, and for your money you will get a website that is built to your specifications. Having built a couple of websites myself, I can attest to the value of professional design. When you see the difference, your professionally designed website will have you saying wow.
After the wow factor comes the payoff. Professionally designed websites get more traffic, and that traffic is more likely to buy something. Think about the last time you went shopping for food. If the store was clean and the employees were well groomed, you felt comfortable purchasing food. If you could smell food cooking from the hot deli, you probably stopped by the deli, just to see what was cooking that smelled so good. That is what a professional website is like. The user feels comfortable with your business. A comfortable visitor is more likely to stick around, explore and more likely to make a purchase from you.
The poorly designed website is like a store that you can tell will soon go out of business. You notice that the floor isn’t as clean as the other stores, the employees do not look as happy, or as well groomed. You are unsure of what the odor is, but you don’t want to buy food from this store, no matter how cheap it is. If you do buy anything, it’s out of necessity, and you still don’t feel comfortable.
The professional website makes you look good. It’s generally the first image people will have of you, and first impressions are even more important on line than they are in real life. If your first impression is that of someone they can trust, someone who knows the value of a first impression, and one who likes to put their best foot forward, they are more likely to stay. Lets face it, people like things that are attractive, and a professional website is just that.
Finally, the professional website generally has a faster loading time, and hosting that will not fail on your users. If your site is professionally designed they will often offer hosting, or advise you on your hosting service, based on your site requirements.
One of the most frustrating things about going to a website is finding that it only works with a specific browser, such as Internet Explorer. I prefer Google Chrome for my browser, and some sites will only work in IE or Mozilla Firefox. I have those, but prefer Chrome. Having a professional website will alleviate this problem. Make sure that the website and web host are compatible with all browsers.
Contact us today to learn more about our professional website design services. 713.789.8699
Google is more than a search engine these days, now it has become a part of speech. I can’t tell you how many times a day I along with millions of others say “Well, did you Google it?” when asked a question that we cannot readily answer. That is the power of this major player in the internet of the present day. In spite of the fact that there are other search engines out there, we never say “Did you Bing it?” or “Did you Yahoo it?”
The history of Google is actually similar to the story of Microsoft and Apple. A couple of regular guys, just like you and me, started working on a project that would one day open a whole new world for the rest of us.
In 1996, Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin started working on a research project that they called BackRub. The idea was to rank the more relevant web search returns according to how many times a page was linked to other pages on the internet. Ironically, if the name had not been changed in 1997, we might be asking “Did you Backrub it?” The name Google is actually taken from a mathematical term, although I didn’t know that when I started my research. A googol is the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, and here I always thought they just made up a new word.
In 1997 Larry and Sergey changed servers and changed their search engine’s name to Google, registering as Google.com, and after receiving a $100,000 check in 1998 they formally incorporated. The business, was housed in a garage in Menlo Park, California. By December of the same year Google had hired their first employee and was recognized as the search engine of choice for PC Magazine’s Top 100 Web Sites.
By February of 1999 Google needed a real office and had grown to 8 employees. Google would continue to grow to forty employees before year’s end, even hiring a chef! In 2000 they captured our imagination by playing their first April Fools Day joke, Mentalplex. The hoax had searchers believing Google could read your mind. This would become a Google tradition. New features were added, such as 10 languages, Adwords and Google toolbar.
In 2001 Swedish Chef was added as a search language and by year’s end they launched Image Search and indexed 3 billion web documents. In 2002 Klingon would be added as one of 72 language choices, and they released their first hardware, a yellow box for businesses called Google Search Appliance. Google News, and Froogle, a shopping search were also launched. Froogle is now Google Product Search and I use it almost every day.
Google has since released G mail, Google Buzz, Google Trends and more. They have acquired Blogger and YouTube. The list goes on, and is too extensive to list here. They have offices all over the world, employing over 19,800 people by the end of 2009. Their offices offer 5 star chefs and areas for their employees to take naps.
Google’s growth now includes their own web browser, Google Chrome, I use no other, and Google Maps as well as Google Earth. You can now view seven continents at street level, and yes I have looked at my house, as well as the home that once housed Google in it’s garage, 232 Santa Margarita Ave, Menlo Park, CA, 94025. I have eagerly awaited Google’s own operating system, Chromium which has been released but is a web based system at this time. According to reviews, it only works while you are on line.
Website Design Houston TX is an award winning Houston website design company offering the following services: website design, flash, search engine optimization, ppc management and web development. We create stunning websites which you can view on our portfolio page. All of our websites are designed and built with the highest industry and search engine standards.
All of our website designs are search engine friendly and are built to help you get indexed. We would be happy to offer you a free website consultation and quote. Call 713-789-8699 or contact us via the contact form to your right.
Website Design Houston’s offices are located in the south of Houston. We have been in the web design business since 2001. Our track record has proven that clients can increase their sales by partnering with us for their website design and marketing needs.
Whether you are looking for a new website or simply looking to make improvements to the one you have, Website Design Houston will create stunning results for you. Visit the Houston Website Design Company offices if you are in our neighborhood.
This is a question that we are asked often: “Should we invest in PPC or in SEO”?
My answer is typically that you should always be investing in PPC no matter what stage you are at (Startup or Fortune 5000) and that SEO depends on where you are in the life cycle of your business.
I recommend that smaller companies without a proven revenue model stay away from investing in SEO until you have a clearly identified business model. On the other hand, I almost always recommend SEO (in addition to PPC) for more mature companies. The reason is two fold.
Reason #1: Mature Companies Know What a Client is Worth
You should never invest a ton of time or money into something until you have a clear idea of what your return will be. Startups often have to change their offering several times to adapt to customers true wants. A startup investing into SEO without seeing what the average value per customer is going to be is doing just that. A mature company on the other hand should have their product/service clearly identified and know within a decent margin of error how much an average customer is worth to them on a gross and net basis.
Reason #2: SEO is not Immediate. PPC Is.
Investing in SEO should be part of a larger plan to attain more customers at a lower cost than PPC. For companies that are still proving their business model, ppc is a great way to attain leads at a reasonable rate and evaluate your conversion rate. After 100 or so leads, you should start to formulate a good idea of your conversion rate and the average value of the customers. This gives you a rough idea of your ROI for PPC. My recommendation for more mature companies is to decide how much you are willing to spend to attain a new customer and after running some professionally managed campaigns, evaluating if web leads convert well for your company. In most cases, they do. In this case, we recommend investing in SEO to cast a bigger net, attain more leads, and most importantly, get the leads before the competitors do.
The good news is that MOST industries still have relatively low competition rates. If you are in a niche arena and if you focus on certain geographic regions, SEO can help you attain a much larger number of leads. However, it will take time. Do not expect overnight first page rankings. A first page ranking on Google happens when Google determines that your content is both credible and more relevant than the content of those you now rank above.
Benefits of PPC:
Benefits of SEO:
A variety of factors go into evaluating PPC and SEO as a marketing tool for your business. If you would like to learn more about how they can benefit your business, please contact us at 1-866-960-2318.
Eric is a search engine optimization specialist who leads the SEO department at Immix. Immix is an award winning web design and search engine optimization company. Immix has been serving companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies on a national level for nearly 10 years. You can contact us for a free consultation at 1-866-960-2318.
This chart is a little dated (March 2010) but it will serve the point for this article. Here is the list of the Top 10 Online Retailers by conversion rates as reported by marketingcharts dot com.
1. Schwan’s – 40.6%
2. Woman Within – 25.3%
3. Blair.com – 20.4%
4. 1800PetMeds – 17.7%
5. VitaCost.com – 16.4%
6. QVC.com – 16.0%
7. ProFlowers.com – 15.8%
8. Office Depot.com – 15.4%
9. Oriental Trading Company – 14.9%
10. Roamans – 14.4%
I always enjoy looking at the top converting online retailers because it gives you examples of companies that are crafting effective design. Note that I did not say ‘good’ – I said ‘effective’. The key for a website is to build one that helps you meet your objectives. Often times, individuals and companies get so caught up on specific aspects of design that they never take the time to look at the overall picture and focus on whether or not their site is going to help them meet their objectives.
I am not stating that good design is not important – it is. As it goes, there is no second chance to make a first impression. However, the first priority after getting to a point where you are presentable and have a good foundation is being able to get the opportunity for people to make a first impression. If you are too busy inside getting ready for the job fair, you can end up missing out on a lot of great interview opportunities. Similarly, the only true way to ‘test’ your ability to convert with your website is to get a lot of people on your site and track the results. Often times, over developing on the front end leaves you in a vulnerable position as it can eradicate the budget critical to further developing the site to be more effective once you better understand what will make it more effective from the people who are paying you.
Website Design Houston – How to Increase Conversion Rates:
1. First and foremost, use targeted landing pages to increase conversion rates. Sending all of your traffic to the same landing page is no longer acceptable on the internet. It is too easy to create targeted landing pages that not having them is simply a sign that you are falling behind the times. It is a fact that a targeted landing page will convert better than a general page.
2. Secondly, use split testing among those landing pages to increase conversion rates. Have two to three variations of each of your landing pages at a minimum. Doing so allows you to identify the factors that are increasing the conversion of your traffic from merely visitors to newsletter subscribers to paying customers to repeat customers. Track your traffic like your life depends on it. Your wallet certainly does.
3. Thirdly, make sure that you make it easy to find your contact information as well as the buy buttons for your products. You would be amazed at how many companies make it difficult for customers to buy from them. I once evaluated a website for a full redesign where the site required the customer to take 14 steps to buy a product. 14 steps!! While that is on the extreme side of things, it demonstrates how oblivious people can be to ease of purchasing from you. Make it easy. Keep it simple.
4. Fourth, but most importantly, get it under way. Work with a reputable web design firm with a proven track record of delivering good sites that work. Likely, your specialty is doing something other than creating sites. Work with a specialty team and let them do their job. It is worth paying a premium early on to have something done right than having to redo it several times and not achieve optimal results.
By implementing these tactics, you can increase your conversion rates. We will follow up with more specific tips and examples for how to increase your conversion rates in the weeks and months to come.
Eric is a writer for Immix Productions, an award winning custom web design firm located in Houston, TX. You can reach them at 713.789.8699.
A recent website design project we completed in Houston TX.
1. Restaurants – Get more clients in your door with a custom website design in Houston TX.
2. Doctors offices – Are you a doctor in Houston, TX? If so, we can help you get more patients coming to your offices.
3. Lawyers – Every day, thousands of people in Houston, TX look for specialty lawyers on the web. If you do not have a website, you are missing out on a large number of potential clients.
4. Mechanics- People no longer open up the yellow pages in search for a mechanic. They do a search on the internet.
5. Businesses – We help small, medium, and large businesses in Houston, TX with an array of budgets get a clean and professional website design online.