Archive | February, 2012

Website Design: Looks Matter

21 Feb

NestThe other day a friend of mine posted an offer on Facebook. He had received five invitations from Nest to purchase their product. I’ll admit, I had no clue what Nest was and I liked the name, so I did some research. What I found surprised me.

First, I found a cool gadget that I wish I could own. But what I quickly discovered is that I found an absolutely amazing website that took me through understanding something I knew absolutely nothing about. Their product and the problems it solves were intimidating to me before I landed on their site, but now it all made sense. In fact, it made so much sense that I no longer wanted their product but I convinced myself I needed it.

Ideally, this is the reaction I’d love for all prospects to have when they visit one of my clients’ sites. Here are some of the things that stood out:

Homepage: Clean, simple and very little text. This drove me to take one action, play their video (“meet” their product).

Video: Their video told a great story, explained what I needed to do and was friendly the entire time. They never pitched or tried to sell me at any point.

No Buyers Remorse: Nest fesses up that their product may not be for everyone. They offered a quick instrucitonal video that showed me if Nest is something I could use.

Infographics: If you’ve ever read my blog or visited my Facebook page you know I love infographics. Nest does a great job of using infographics to tell their story.

Simplicity: I counsel clients often on their website and sales collateral content. As humans, we have the tendency to tell people (even if they know what we do) more than they really care to know. Sometimes companies believe doing this shows that they are experts and other times they believe prospects need to know all this information before they will even consider becoming a customer. Nest does not offer a simple product and the problem it solves is even more complicated. Yet, they manage to tell you everything you need to know in short precise content. Knowing that Nest wouldn’t overwhelm me with a 20 page white paper, I kept digging deeper into their site so I could learn even more.

There are a lot of best practices throughout the Nest website. If you’re ever looking for website design inspiration, I suggest checking out Nest.


Optimizing Press Releases: 5 Tips On How To Optimize Your Releases

14 Feb
Optimizing Press Releases

PR Optimization

There are a lot of great articles out there that can help you learn more about optimizing your press releases. Below is a quick high-level to do list for anyone considering writing a press release.

1. Use keywords (SEO terms) when writing your press release. Keep your keywords in your headline, subheads and towards the top of your first few paragraphs.

2. Hyperlink the text in your press release: link keywords back to pages intended to drive traffic via that keyword. These hyperlinks can be linked to product pages or even landing pages.

3. If you use images in your press release, make sure you tag them appropriately with your keywords.

4. Select a recognized news release distribution service. You can find free services, but simply make sure what you’re getting when you rely on smaller distribution services.

5. Publish your press release on your website, your blog and share it on your social media outlets (Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter). Again, keep your hyperlinks intact and have them point to associated pages.

These five tips will get you indexed with Google News and Yahoo! News and help your SEO efforts along the way.

For additional SEO recommendations, read my post “SEO Page Optimization

Determining a Marketing Budget

7 Feb

Marketing SpendA lot of times clients ask:

  • “What do you believe my marketing spend should be as a percent of sales?”
  • “How do I determine what a reasonable amount of money is to spend on marketing?”
  • “Am I investing too much or too little into marketing?”

I’d love to say you’re going to finish reading this post and have the answer, but I can’t. What I can tell you is over the years my perspective has changed a bit. But, anytime I’m faced with these questions I have a tendency to go back to some of the same articles/posts to gain insight and always search for new ones with each new inquiry. Here are some of my go to resources:

I haven’t found a one-size fits-all answer to this question but what I can say is do some reading, talk with your peers and figure out what feels right for your company.