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Make Your Website A Regular Source Of New Customers

Anyone who’s been in business for a while knows that two of the absolute ‘must-haves’ for success are:
1.Getting new customer or clients
2.Keeping them coming back for more

For most small business owners maintaining a steady flow of new clients is really quite difficult. The majority of business owners that I meet usually rely on using a few lead generation tactics. However, any business that uses just a few lead generation techniques is putting themselves at risk. What happens if these for some reason suddenly stop working?

If you want to grow your business, you need a steady flow of high-quality leads. To achieve that you need to use lots of different ways to generate leads, both on and offline.

Here are just five key tips on lead generation, without any cold calling (which you probably hate doing as much as I do!):

1. Set your lead generation objectives so you can determine what works and what doesn’t

Set specific targets that you can track and measure.

Spend time setting your objectives and specific, measurable targets. If you don’t, how will you ever know if your lead generation programme has been successful or not?

2. Use your website as your primary ‘lead conversion machine’

Your website, if set up and optimised correctly, can be a powerful marketing tool that takes prospects generated by your lead generation programme and converts them into a stream of high-quality leads.

To work effectively your key landing pages (the ones where visitors enter your website) must capture your visitor’s attention immediately. You must decide what action you want your visitors to take e.g. sign up for a newsletter, download a PDF etc and make sure you focus on getting them to do this on every page.

3. Use Social Media to drive people to your website

From a marketing point of view, one of the best uses of social media is to drive people to your website.
Whenever you tweet, link back to your website, whenever you blog include links back to your website and the same goes for Facebook and LinkedIn. Of course if you’re going to do this, then your social media utterances need to be relevant to your website content and to your business, but that should go without saying.

4. Use direct mail to generate leads

Direct mail like sales letters, post cards, flyers, etc, is still one of the most effective ways of communicating your messages to your target audience and of course, driving them to your website, where they should be incentivised to complete the kind of actions I’ve mentioned above.

Direct mail’s main advantage over email is that it doesn’t have the message filtering that email marketing has.

5. Use online advertising like Google AdWords to instantly drive quality traffic to your web pages

Pay-Per-Click advertising can be a highly effective way of getting the right people to your website quickly, particularly if you are finding it difficult to obtain Page 1 rankings on Google.

Used correctly Google Adwords is a fantastic business generator but if used incorrectly you can burn loads of money for absolutely no reward.

If you’re new to Adwords, proceed cautiously to start with until you know what you’re doing.

 

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7 Tips On How You Can Improve Your Internet Presence

These days your internet presence is vital aspect of your  small business marketing. Here are seven tips which will help you improve your online presence and so increase the number of enquiries you generate.

Write your copy exclusively for your target customer
If you have an accurate profile for your prospective customers, you know what they want and need and what will motivate them. Armed with this information you can tailor your copy to press their hot buttons. Make sure your copy is full of the words “you” and “yours” as opposed to “we” and “our”.

Use your website to generate contact details
Realistically the chances of everyone who comes to your website getting in contact with you are zero. But the fact that they’ve come to your website indicates that they are prospects so if you can get their contact details, you can market to them in the future. You therefore need “lead bait” – to offer them something of enough value that they will give you their contact details. This can be a special report or white paper, maybe a discount voucher or you could offer them some physical product as an incentive.

Update your site regularly
Whether you have a News section on your website or a blog or both it’s really important to keep them both updated. What kind of message does it send out if the newest news you’ve got is months out of date or if you only update your blog every few months. Not only does it make a bad impression on your readers, but it doesn’t impress Google either.

Blogging isn’t for everyone
Blogging has great benefits if you do it well but not everyone likes writing or is very good at it. If your blog posts are badly written or just dull they’re not going to do anything for your business. If this is the case, you’re better off forgetting about blogging and concentrating on other things.

Use video on your website
Video introduces personality to your site. In 60 or 90 seconds you can say a lot about your business and about yourself in an engaging and appealing way. Remember plenty of people prefer to receive information in audio visual form than in written form.

Think before you link
We all want inbound links but they have to be from the right kind of source. Before you set up reciprocal links, consider the linking site carefully. What does it say about you if you’re linked to unprofessional sites.

Reply to blog comments
If readers comment on your blog, you owe it to them to reply. In this way you can strengthen budding relationships and turn casual readers into raving fans.

Following these seven simple points will enhance your online

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10 Vital Tips For Online Marketing Success

In 2011 an effective online marketing strategy is a vital part of your marketing armoury.

If you’re not getting to grips with online marketing, you can be sure your competitors will and this will give them a significant advantage.

This isn’t to say that all your marketing should be on line but that your on line marketing strategy and off line marketing strategy should work together and complement each other.

Here is a brief overview of 10 areas of online marketing activity which you need to become familiar with in order to increase your chances of success:

  1. Effective Landing Pages
    Many websites fail to ‘grab’ and convert visitors because either they haven’t created specific landing pages, or fail to direct traffic to the most appropriate landing page. This results in a ‘bounce’ – the visitor doesn’t find information relevant to their search and ‘bounces’ back to Google to select another site.

    Creating landing pages – one product or service per page – that are highly relevant to specific searches is the key to making your search engine optimisation and pay per click work and to converting visitors into customers.

  2. Calls to Action
    Calls to action are vital within e-marketing and on websites.
    If your website objective is to generate leads, build your prospect database or make sales, then as well as providing compelling reasons for customers to choose your product or service, you must ‘ask for the order’ via a call to action.
  3. High Quality Information
    People come to websites looking for information and for solutions to their problems. Therefore if you provide high quality, up to date, authoritative information you are putting yourself in pole position to win their custom.
    Additionally Google will reward high quality content with better search engine rankings.
  4. Visitor Signup.
    The reality is that the chance of someone buying from you on their first visit to your website is slim. However as part of your e-marketing if you can get their contact details you will then be able to market to them.
    To get their contact information therefore you have to offer them something of value. A free download or report is the standard offering. If however you can be more creative and offer something more original you are likely to get a better response rate.
  5. Autoresponders.
    It often takes between 5 and 8 contacts before a prospect is willing to say yes to whatever it is you’re offering.
    For this reason you need to use autoresponders. An autoresponder automatically sends an email when for example a prospect signs up to an offer as discussed in point 4.
    An automated campaign of sequentially appropriate emails will nurture your prospects, providing them with more and more reasons to buy until some of them become customers.
  6. Search Engine Optimisation.
    However wonderful you website might be, if it’s not being found by potential customers it’s of little use to you. It is therefore critical your website is search engine friendly. When the search engine spiders crawl your website, the text they see must be written in such a way that they can understand exactly what each page is about in order to present it as an appropriate match to a searcher.

    The criteria the search engines use to rank websites is constantly changing. However there are certain constants that they look for such as back links from authoritative sites which still remain very important.
    SEO is a very specialist area and one which you will need to talk to an expert about.

  7. Pay Per Click
    If your goal is to quickly drive traffic to your site, then PPC is one of the fastest ways to achieve it.
    The great thing about PPC is that it is immediate. You can set yourself up and start driving traffic to your site within a matter of an hour or two. The downside is that it is also easy to spend a lot of money and get little in return.
    The best advice is to either use the services of an expert or to use a very limited budget initially until you discover what does and doesn’t work.
  8. Social Media
    While a lot of people debate the value of social media, there are hundreds of millions of people using these platforms. If your potential customers are conversing online why would you not want to participate..
    Before you get heavily involved you should identify which of the sites you are going to get involved in.
    Additionally you must be clear what you are hoping to achieve with social media and how you’re going to integrate it with your other marketing.
  9. Online Directories.
    There are two good reasons for using online directories. The first is that by submitting your website to directories you will build the number of links to your website, improving your SEO. The second is that by subscribing to (and sometimes paying for) listings and links in high-traffic, relevant and industry specific directories, you can drive quality traffic to your website.
  10. Email Marketing
    While email marketing isn’t technically online marketing, it is a key part of the digital marketing arsenal.
    The great thing about email marketing is that you can communicate at the touch of a button with thousands of people. The bad thing about it is that those people can delete you at the touch of another button.
    This highlights two key points. The first is that you need to get into people’s in boxes. If the subject line sounds like spam it will be treated like spam. The second point is that you will need a high quality, opted in list, both for legality reasons and to get a respectable opening rate. If people know you and respect you, they are likely to open your emails.

These 10 points really only skim the surface of online marketing. The purpose is to highlight the sort of areas you will need to become familiar with to make sure that your business takes advantage of the online revolution.

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7 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content

To get people to read your communications you’ve got to write compelling copy.

So you slave over your words and then finally hit “publish,” and what happens?

Nothing.

No comments, no tweets, no phone calls.

So what’s wrong? Is your writing rubbish?

Probably not.

The solution may just be to present it better and make it easier to read.

Browsers Not Readers

In the digital age we’ve stopped reading and started browsing instead.

We’ve all heard the statistics of how long you have to grab the attention of your web site visitors. People scan text and pick out the relevant information.

Our task therefore is to present our information so that a scanning, browsing reader can quickly pick the information out of our text

1. Make It Snappy

Writing for the web is not the same as writing an essay at school.

Keep your sentences short. Keep your paragraphs short. Avoid large blocks of text. Readers are no longer prepared to engage with long, detailed arguments.

Start with your conclusion and then justify it with the supporting text. Readers immediately get the key message and can move on when they want.

2. Embrace The Line Break

There are few easier ways to make your content more readable. Even complex content can be made much more reader-friendly with the simple introduction of lots of white space. Feature one idea per paragraph, and keep them short — three or four sentences at most.

3. Break Up Your Content With Compelling Subheads

A strong headline is vital to engage readers in the first place.  Interesting sub heads break up the text and sign post the fact that there is interesting stuff later on.

Make your subheads intriguing, but informative and avoid making them too sensational. We’re not talking the Sun or Daily Mirror.

Ideally your reader should be able to get the gist just by reading your sub heads.

4. Use Bulleted Lists

  • They create interest readers can’t resist
  • They’re easy to scan
  • They look different from the rest of your text, so they provide a visual break for your reader

5. Add Relevant Links

Internal links back to your own corner stone content http://bda.me.uk/copywriting.html will keep people on your site and reading your best material.

External links demonstrate that you’ve researched the topic and aren’t claiming to have a monopoly on good content.

6. Use Strategic Formatting

Add emphasis to your web copy by bolding important concepts. You reader will be able to scan through and pick out the most important information at a glance.

Don’t highlight everything. Instead, emphasize the key points so the scanner can quickly pick them out.

7. Harness The Power Of Numbers

Numbering points is an incredibly effective way to both capture attention and to keep the reader involved.

If you don’t believe me have a look at the number of marketing books that have numbers in the title http://bda.me.uk/book.html

Good luck

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How To Convert Online Browsers Into Customers

A common mistake many online businesses make is to spend a lot of time, effort and money attracting people to their websites but not enough converting those prospects into paying customers.

They mistakenly assume that ‘window shopping’ prospects will be prepared to hand over their hard earned cash for high-priced products or services without any prior experience or knowledge of the product or of the company.

This isn’t realistic. They need to have confidence in you and your products

Selling Is Like Courtship
Getting your prospects to make a purchase is like a courtship. You must woo them, developing the relationship a little at a time until they are ready to commit to you and your product.

The first act in the courtship is to offer them a free or very low cost product. You can then offer them something a little bit more expensive and so on until they are confident enough  with you and your company to consider your premium priced products.

Doing it this way makes purchasing decisions easier. As the relationship between you and your prospect develops, the objections he or she may have had initially begin to disappear.

And this is how it works…

Stage 1
Your ‘window shopping’ prospect decides to take up your offer of a free product or service. In return he gives you his email address and therefore becomes part of your ‘opt-in’ list. A mistake that companies make is expecting customers to make the jump from the free products straight to the high-end products.

Stage 2
Once your prospect has received the ‘free’ product or service, you begin to provide additional value-added offers.  These offers may be directly related to the incentive he received at the outset when he joined your list.

Stage 3
Now you can add a mid-level range of information-based products. This gives your prospects an opportunity to sample your products at a low price and still at a relatively ‘low risk’.

These information products can include:

  • Books
  • E-books
  • Special reports
  • Manuals
  • Workbooks
  • Audio downloads
  • Video downloads
  • Audio CDs
  • Videos or DVDs

If your prospect now buys one of your mid range products, they now actually become a client.

Stage 4
At the stage that your prospect has become confident enough in you and your products to become a client, you can start to maximise his full value. From now on your client is likely to be receptive to cross-sells, upsells, and other packages you offer. Your client is now less resistant to the idea of buying your higher priced product or services and more confident of your ability to deliver what you promise.

So that’s the process. If you want a long lasting relationship with your clients, make sure you woo them correctly.