We talk about content a lot here on this blog. And content’s important, believe me. But no amount of great content is going to do it for you unless that content is displayed well — that is, you have good design.
I’m not talking about awesome, impressive design. Just a clean and modern setting for your awesome, impressive content. Enough to make it easy for users to read and navigate.
In my latest blog post at Search Engine People, I’ve outlined a checklist of 7 items you should look for to make sure your web content is readable. (The post says “blog posts,” but this applies to any web page with a lot of text.)
All of these tips are pretty elementary, but many websites and blogs still make these mistakes. Make sure you’re not one of them!
In the last six months, I’ve reviewed over 30 business websites with a view to helping these businesses figure out how they can make their marketing more effective. Especially if you are a small services business — you provide software development services, or you’re a trainer or consultant or plumber — it can be difficult to figure out what goes on your website. Especially if you’re a consultant or freelancer, where does your personality end and your business begin?
Today I’m gonna help you figure out the five most essential pieces of information you need to provide on your website.
Continue reading The Only Five Essential Elements of Website Content for A Small Services Business
Rand Fishkin is the CEO and Co-founder of SEOmoz, one of the most well-known and respected internet marketing companies. He’s been in Businessweek’s 30 under 30, and has got tons of press coverage for himself and SEOmoz.
He talked to us about community-building, products vs. services, and more! Read on.
SEOmoz got started after you joined your mom’s (Gillian Muessig, Co-founder of SEOmoz) marketing business… How did you decide to focus on SEO?
Continue reading Marketing for Tech Products: Interview with Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz
Instead of our regular Weekend Reading post, today we have for you a round-up of the marketing sites and blogs you should read, recommended by the marketing experts and entrepreneurs we have interviewed in 2012.
Read on for the 13 blogs you should follow in 2013.
Continue reading 13 Marketing and Small-Business Blogs for 2013
I started this blog nearly two years ago, when I wanted a space to put down my thoughts about marketing. Better Marketing wasn’t a business then — it wasn’t even the blog name.
It’s this year, after we started as a business, that we actually started writing regularly — and this is the 60th post of the year.
We would like to end the year by spotlighting both our most popular posts — that is, the ones you readers liked best — as well as my favorite posts.
Continue reading Our Best Posts of 2012
Which brings me to the question: is it wise to focus your marketing efforts primarily on social media?
I’m not advocating ignoring social media (of course). But realize this: you don’t control Facebook or Twitter or Google Plus. Your most important content should be on your own site, whether it’s in the form of blog posts, FAQs, a photo gallery, or video tutorials.
Here are five reasons why.
Continue reading 5 Risks of Relying on Social Media Marketing
For e-commerce businesses, getting the website right is even more important than for other businesses because the website is more than a marketing tool — it’s part of the offering. Here are 18 things not all e-commerce websites get right.
1. Give me a reason to register even if I don’t want to buy right now.
Discount coupon for first purchase? First delivery free if I register by x date? Give me some reason to fill up that registration form when I come to you the first time. Else there is a high chance that if I don’t like anything in the first visit, I will never come back. If I don’t register, you wouldn’t even know I came by!
Continue reading 18 Things E-Commerce Websites Must Get Right
Update: Google launched the Keyword Planner which will replace the Keyword Tool. Read about it here.
Have you ever used the Google Keyword Tool? No? Then go on reading and make sure you use it today. You can use this easy (and free!) tool for a number of things:
- As part of your market research to understand how many people search for a certain product or service online.
- When they search for the product or service you offer, what words do they use?
- What keywords are you using most prominently in your website?
- What keywords your competitor (or any other company) is using most prominently on its website?
How do you do all that? Let’s take a quick look.
Continue reading How To Use Google’s Keyword Tool
This week’s reads are all about tips you should start following right away or mistakes you need to avoid. Get on these right away so you don’t lose opportunities!
This is something we have found too: everyone wants to help you. As usual, Joel Gascoigne dispenses excellent and inspiring advice to entrepreneurs.
The KISSmetrics blog lays out seven critical errors made by e-commerce websites. Make sure you’re not making any!
Are you optimizing your images for search? If not, start now!
A study of smartphone and tablet users in the U.S. found some interesting results with regard to mobile searches for restaurants:
Continue reading Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Do This Now
Gujarat (which is where I grew up, by the way) will have its assembly elections next month. I am no longer a registered voter there, but out of curiosity, I clicked on a banner ad for one of the political parties.
I am not going to talk politics here, but let’s look at how well they’ve executed this marketing campaign. Below are my tweets and comments about this campaign by the Indian National Congress, which is currently the main opposition party in Gujarat.
Continue reading Spotlight: Congress’s Online Marketing Campaign for Gujarat Elections 2012
Do you know how many of your visitors are using phones and tablets to view your website or app? Is your website or application optimized for mobile?
This article has web design best practices that you should be aware of: it focuses on the iPad Mini, but most of this is relevant for any mobile device.
And Rand Fishkin explains why every company should have a marketing-focused web development team.
Continue reading Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Improve Your Customers’ Experience
Music in India has been mostly dominated by mainstream film music (Bollywood!) but in the last few years non-film music has acquired its own space and a lot of credit goes to Only Much Louder and NH7 for that. I’m impressed by how OML has created a powerful brand in NH7 through integrated marketing.
Personally, I am a big fan of NH7 and the NH7 Weekender music festival, so some level of bias is expected :-). And on the other hand it also speaks to the effectiveness of their marketing and quality of their service and products — that is, music events. Let’s look at the website first.
First things first: The website
Continue reading Integrated Marketing Lessons from NH7 and Only Much Louder
Didn’t we say, don’t keep your customers guessing? Well, if that wasn’t clear enough, here is a story of how a company can make it very difficult for potential customers to understand its offering. SocialEdge is a product (or service?) by Infosys. In their words:
“Infosys SocialEdge provides a comprehensive way to engage with consumers, influence their purchase decisions and provide post-purchase assistance”.
Does that tell you what SocialEdge actually is or does? It doesn’t even explain how it’s “social”!
Below is a Twitter conversation I had about this yesterday. Continue reading The Opposite of Marketing: Keeping Your Product Attributes A Secret
Gini Dietrich manages the marketing blog Spin Sucks and is the founder and CEO of marketing firm Arment Dietrich. She talks to us about marketing, entrepreneurship… and cash!
Read on. My questions and comments are in bold.
Tell us about Spin Sucks. Why call it that instead of something like, you know, the Arment Dietrich blog?
Continue reading PR, Content Marketing, and Social Media: Interview with Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks
Ruud Hein is one of the faces of Search Engine People and editor of their popular blog. Ruud talks to us about blogging, SEO, and entrepreneurship.
Let’s get to it! My questions and comments are in bold.
There’s this story on your website about how Search Engine People got started. Tell us the story — how did you get involved?
Besides teaching English as a Second Language at the French Centre de Langues Internationales Charpentier (CLIC), I had taken up building and promoting websites. Much of my informal SEO education came from discussions on the Cre8asite Forums (recently bought by Jim Boykin) with brilliant people like Ammon Johns, Kim Krause, and Stockbridge Truslow – to name but a few.
Continue reading SEO and Blogging: Interview with Ruud Hein of Search Engine People
HubSpot has an excellent post on what your website navigation should include. Remember, the purpose of your website’s navigation is to enable visitors to quickly find the information they are looking for. If they can’t get to it in three clicks or less, you’re in trouble.
Why are blog comments important and how can you get more of them?
CEOs remain strangely reluctant to tweet: and McKinsey Global Institute reports that “social technologies stand to unlock from $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value.” So if you are a business-owner or CEO and you aren’t tweeting, what’s your excuse?
And just tweeting isn’t enough: web users in the U.S. now spend more time on Facebook than on all of Google’s sites.
I have been using WordPress (the web and installed versions) for several years now, and I love this post with ten reasons to use WordPress. If you don’t have a blog for your business yet, use WordPress and set it up!
So what exactly do we offer in a Website Review?
My friend Gunjan of Koyri, a small handmade jewelry business, agreed to let me share a brief review of the Koyri website here. This isn’t an exhaustive review (I haven’t reviewed competitors or keywords here, for example) but I hope it gives you an idea of what I look for in small-business sites and the easy improvements I can point you to.
Overall Site Design
The site design is very attractive, minimalistic, with spare use of red to add interest. There is too much white space. Also,“Copyright” shouldn’t be pluralized.
Continue reading Brief Website Review: Koyri