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Blogging: Be Prepared

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:37:25 PM EST by Richard Norris

Be Prepared

Before your fingers even touch the keyboard, you need to identify some important things about your blog. Purpose and planning are the foundation of your blog. They provide your blog with character and direction. If there is no direction to your blog you won’t bring results.

  1. What is the purpose of your blog?

Why are you starting a blog? Define if you are looking to generate leads or create brand awareness. Defining what your blog looks like is the looking at the end product. And we need to define the end to know where we are to start.

What results do you want? Wanting people to buy products, demands a different style of writing to that as if you ware wanting people to sign up to your newsletter or subscribe to this blog. To get people to buy a product your blogs will have to focus on those particular products you want to sell and the benefits they will bring to your readers. However, to get people to subscribe to your blog or newsletter you would need to show that you are a valuable source of information in your field; not to mention to get those people interested in your industry.

How are you going to structure your blog? What is it going to look like? Not all blogs have images. Is yours? Are you going to have video? An important question to answer is whether or not you are going to allow comments automatically or are you going to have to monitor them. Both are just as beneficial as the other.

If you are looking for people to buy because of your blog I would allow comments but set-up email notifications every time some does leave a comment. Yet, if you want someone to subscribe to a newsletter or blog they may be leaving a lot more comments that may not be appropriate on your website. Thus having them monitored would be a better course of action. Again, these are guides and it depends on your readers interact with your blog.

Defining the purpose of your blog actually helps you write. If it doesn’t fit with your purpose, you don’t write it. This purpose will come out in your writing and your readers will catch a hold and they will be more informed of what your business is.

Written By

Richard Norris

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An Introduction to Blogging

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:36:47 PM EST by Richard Norris

blogging

Blogging, more so than ever, has become a necessity for business websites.

With the direction search engines a taking, having regular, fresh content is paramount to online success.

According to Wikipedia, a blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Do you remember the show ‘Better Homes & Gardens’? This show talked about nifty little ideas that could make your house that much more of a home. They also put out a magazine each month filled with articles about, basically, the same sorts of things. To bring this analogy together, the television show would be their website, whilst their magazine would be their blog. Therefore, a blog is an online publication of articles and information based around a core value, product, service or idea.

There is no simpler way to add relevant content to your website than by blogging. A blog can be part of a website or even a type of website on its own. A blog enables the author to share own specific subjects. Essentially a blog is your space to share your/your businesses ideas, thoughts and opinions.

For businesses, blogging enables you to communicate with more than just your clients about the solutions you can provide them. Blogs are made up of numerous blog posts. They are articles talking about one particular subject; posts can contain images and videos. Podcasting is an audio version of blogging.

Client interaction is pressing to be the driving force in the business world. With the rise of social media and the mindset it brings; relationships dictate our livelihood, the tool of blogging needs to be taken seriously. The monitoring and regulation of comments can cause traumatic results, because each comment isn’t just the voice of one person but rather your entire audience. Approach it without planning and you could damage your online reputation, done right you can rebuild a reputation.

Following from this is four guidance tools (B_L_O_G) help you give your blog the best chance of longevity and success. Be sure to stay tuned to the SiteZero Blog over the next few weeks to get a snippet of these four tools.

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus
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How to Create a Google Account

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:36:13 PM EST by Richard Norris

Once you have received confirmation that your website has gone live, the next step will be for you to create a Google account, if you do not have one already that you would want to associate with your new website. This Google account will be used in setting up your Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Your new Google account can also be linked to a YouTube Chanel and also your business Google Places listing.

Below I have summarised the steps involved with creating a Google account.

1. Click on this link

This will take you to the “Create an Account” page as shown below.

googelaccountcreation 

2. Fill out the Form

In the “Your current email address" field type in the email address you would like to associate with your account

Create and enter a password

Enter your location, Birthday verification code then accept the terms and conditions.

Once this is done you can click on create my account.

3. Verification

You will then receive email addressed Google Email verification; click the link within it and that will activate your account

4. Finalize

Contact SiteZero Support and advise them you have completed these steps and we will then connect your Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to this newly created Google Account.

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus

How To Communicate Your Message Through Using Graphics

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:35:32 PM EST by Richard Norris

Developing a message through the use of graphics can be a highly effective way to successfully communicate what you want your target audiences to understand.

This method of communicating has become so successful that it has made its own industries and professions; today we call this graphic design.

Visually, humans can respond emotionally and judge a specific message through many factors such as the use of colours, letters and even the words themselves. However in order to get the attention for your message, good graphic design must be used.

It is a primary instinct of ours on how well we respond to the use of visuals. Can you remember your pre-school days?

One of the easiest forms of getting us to understand a subject matter, or to learn a lesson, was through the use of visual aids. The same principles apply when it comes to communicating a sales message. Your message has to be clear, but if you are assisted with graphical aids, you pretty much double your chances to the accomplishment of your goal.

Although the process of assigning graphics to your message may seem simple in itself, we simply must understand the psychology of how are brain reacts to certain visuals. If we look at the basics, colours have a big importance when you wish to draw an emotion from a target audience.

See down below at the colour chart to understand how colours can draw an emotion. 

Colour

Emotion

Red

Power, Alert, Strength, Masculinity.

Blue

Intellect, Calm, Trust.

Yellow

Happiness, Confidence, Optimism.

Green

Nature, Balance, Refreshment, Positivity.

Violet

Spiritual, Femininity, Authenticity.

Orange

Vibrance, Warmth, Passion.

Pink

Femininity, Nurture, Playful

Black

Glamour, Sleekness, Maturity.

The way these colours are often used is judged on the certain target audience you are directing your message to.

For example, if I were to try and advertise a top of the line smart phone I would keep my colours fairly monochromatic with a highlight colour use of either Blue or Green; as these 2 colours promote trust and a sense of calmness.

We would use these colours as the general target audience for smart phones is early 20’s to early 40’s. The use of monochromatic colours also promotes a feel of professionalism and maturity.

With the addition of visual aids, you double your chances of achieving your goal.

Whether you use product images, before and after shots or even vector artwork, you are simply providing an extra insight and more trust into the message you are trying to communicate.

In a modern marketing world, companies may use a company mascot/identity to find a relation point for their target audience. If you have a happy vibrant character talking to an actual audience as oppose to just a slideshow flashing words your chance of conversion would be much higher as you are more appealing to your target audience.

It is vitally important to provide a professional and reliable projection of your company values.

Having a face to your product often provides such trust. Some good examples would be Ronald McDonald (McDonalds), The Paddle Pop Lion and the infamous Polar Bear from Bundaberg Rum. These are all characters with one purpose, to gain attention and to provide trust.

ronald-mcdonald bundaberg_rum_bear paddlepoplion

You’ll see that with most modern websites, a trend with such characters is becoming more and more popular.

It is often the case Vector Art is used, as it is highly versatile to produce a character that can communicate any kind of message with multiple expressions. Not only does it add a friendly face or voice to a product/message, but also it can add a personal and fun outlook to a company, which audiences simply love.

Overall, if you are after assistance or help in communicating a few of your own sales messages, try considering the idea of having graphical aids do the talking.

Having a well-designed presence not only adds credibility to your messages, but you will also find you can gain the most important attribute from a target audience, their trust. 

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus
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Page Purpose – About Us

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:34:36 PM EST by Richard Norris

information

The About Us page is the most misused page on any business website.

People often just explain what their business does as well as the products and services they offer. Essentially, this is just a duplicate of the home page.

The about us shouldn’t be in any form a sales page but rather a trust building page, a page that reflects the characteristics and personality of your home page.

As I like to call it, the ‘girly’ page. Not being sexist but this page is where emotions and feelings get expressed and the reasons why you do what you do get shared to your visitors.

People do business with those that they know, like and trust. Sharing your vision and reasons for being in business are tools that allow people to trust you.

Here are some ideas for effective About Us pages:

Tell Your Business Story

Everybody loves a story. Here is a perfect oppourtunity to share your business story. Remember to incorporate emotions and reasons why you did things.

Create a Timeline

Coupled with a good graphic designer, a timeline can be an effective piece of content. It would outline the main landmarks along your businesses history.

Staff Profiles

Introduce your staff members to your visitors. Create a profile that outlines work related achievements as well as motivations. Remember also to use reasons why.

These three things are all great pieces of content for the About Us page on your business website. Experiment and find out which one works for you.

Here are some examples of effective About Us pages:

  1.  

     

    Nike.
  2.  

    Coca Cola.
  3.  

    SiteZero (we had to include our own).
Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus
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Page Purpose – Home Page

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:33:57 PM EST by Richard Norris

The home page of your business website is most likely visited the most out of all the pages on your website.

For this reason, it is important that the home page has had thought put into the content so as to deliver the best possible result.

A lot of website owners jam their home page full of information so that the multitudes can read their wonderful content.

This action is detrimental to your website success.

Having a lot of information about various subjects on your home page often makes your visitors feel lost and confused. This can be avoided by identifying and following the page purpose of the home page.

The purpose of the home page is, quite simply, to sell.

The way you go about selling on the homepage is the trick.  Instead of flashing banners and heavily discounted prices, simply outline the features of your product and business and the benefits that your product and business bring to a customer.

Ask yourself the question, why would someone come to me instead of my competition.

In answering that question, there are a couple of rules.

Rule 1: The answer can’t be price.

Rule 2: The answer can’t be service.

Any business can lower their prices and any business can provide good customer service.  What do you do as a business, which no other business does?

It may be what you offer as part of your service.  For instance, SiteZero offers three packages around our product LaunchPad.  A great way, we felt, to convey the various features of LaunchPad, was to create a comparison graphic.

launchpad_graphic_resize 

At a glance you can see the features that are available with the various LaunchPad products.

Another way to convey this is via video.



As long as the content is leaning toward features and benefits the quality of the video doesn’t need to be television quality, but it can be something shot from a smart phone with HD capabilities.  Just be sure to edit out any bloopers.

Whichever method you choose, you also need to have supporting text on the home page so that you can get indexed and ranked by Google and the other search engines.

Hopefully these tips have triggered some ideas.  But before you go ahead here are some things that we find are best not to have on your home page:

  1. Opening Hours – if people want opening hours they will go to your contact us page or even give you a call.
  2. Irrelevant Content – keep one focus on your home page.
  3. Sales Pitches – This is your home page, not a sales letter or presentation. Think of your home page as being more about brand awareness and selling your brand rather than making money.
  4. Personal References – Take out any names that may be within your content. Yes it is personalised, but your name isn’t the business.  Remember we are marketing the business brand not your personal brand.

If you have any questions, we would love to hear them. Please lave a comment below or fill in this form.

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus
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