Category Archives: Online Marketing

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9 Tips For Maintaining a Up-to-date Website JA Publications, Inc. 2

9 Tips For Maintaining a Up-to-date Website

 

 

Here Are 9 Tips For Maintaining a Up-to-date Website in Today’s Online Environment

By Jeff George

If you are concerned with whether or not your website looks up-to-date, here are 9 tips to consider when maintaining a up-to-date and healthy website.

 

 

  • Bios – Is your photograph current? Does your picture look like you? If you are meeting a prospective client whose only previous experience of you comes from your website bio, then you don’t want to be giving them any nasty surprises! (if you require a photographer we can help)
  • Ensure your People pages are up to date (and if somebody is leaving remind them to update their LinkedIn profile as nobody else can do it for them, (at least not without the login details).
  • Trust Icons – If you won the Law Firm of the Year at the American Legal Awards in 2009 and proudly displayed your winners badge on your home page, that is great. It doesn’t look so great if it’s still there in 2013 though. The same goes for any type of membership or accreditation. Make sure these trust icons are up to date or take them off.
  • Content – It sounds obvious, but ensure that your content is up to date and aligned with current accepted best practices and that you have kept pace with regulatory changes and changes to the legal landscape.
  • Responsiveness – More and more people are searching on the go. Your website needs to be optimized for mobile and tablet. Unless your site was created or updated in the last couple of years the chances are that it’s not responsive.
  • Images – Has your website had the same homepage image for the last five years? This (along with old content) gives the impression of your website (and business) being static. Google does not like static websites and neither will visitors.
  • Contact details – Again, this sounds obvious, but make sure your contact details are up to date. If you had to close a satellite office but didn’t remove it from your website and a prospective client pitches up there for a meeting and finds a McDonald’s instead, well, you can imagine.
  • Call to action buttons – Are you providing your target audience with the means to contact you that is most appropriate to them? Does your website have, for example, a free phone number? An online inquiry form? A dedicated email address? You know your audience better than anybody, make sure you make contacting you very easy for them.

 

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  • Testimonials – It’s important to keep adding new testimonials to your site as this is a great way to build trust with prospective clients. If a visitor comes to your site after a six month lapse and views the same testimonials as the last time they visited then that can look lazy, or worse still, give off the impression that you haven’t completed any work worthy of a testimonial in the past 6 months!


 


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Content Is King by Bill Gates | 1/3/1996 JA Publications, Inc. 2

Content Is King by Bill Gates | 1/3/1996

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Content Is King by Bill Gates (1/3/1996)

 

Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.

The television revolution that began half a century ago spawned a number of industries, including the manufacturing of TV sets, but the long-term winners were those who used the medium to deliver information and entertainment.

When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide. For example, computer software is a form of content-an extremely important one, and the one that for Microsoft will remain by far the most important.

But the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.

One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopiers. It allows material to be duplicated at low-cost, no matter the size of the audience.

The Internet also allows information to be distributed worldwide at basically zero marginal cost to the publisher. Opportunities are remarkable, and many companies are laying plans to create content for the Internet.

For example, the television network NBC and Microsoft recently agreed to enter the interactive news business together. Our companies will jointly own a cable news network, MSNBC, and an interactive news service on the Internet. NBC will maintain editorial control over the joint venture.

I expect societies will see intense competition-and ample failure as well as success-in all categories of popular content-not just software and news, but also games, entertainment, sports programming, directories, classified advertising, and on-line communities devoted to major interests.

Printed magazines have readership’s that share common interests. It’s easy to imagine these communities being served by electronic online editions.

But to be successful online, a magazine can’t just take what it has in print and move it to the electronic realm. There isn’t enough depth or interactivity in print content to overcome the drawbacks of the online medium.

If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video. They need an opportunity for personal involvement that goes far beyond that offered through the letters-to-the-editor pages of print magazines.

A question on many minds is how often the same company that serves an interest group in print will succeed in serving it online. Even the very future of certain printed magazines is called into question by the Internet.

For example, the Internet is already revolutionizing the exchange of specialized scientific information. Printed scientific journals tend to have small circulations, making them high-priced. University libraries are a big part of the market. It’s been an awkward, slow, expensive way to distribute information to a specialized audience, but there hasn’t been an alternative.

Now some researchers are beginning to use the Internet to publish scientific findings. The practice challenges the future of some venerable printed journals.

Over time, the breadth of information on the Internet will be enormous, which will make it compelling. Although the gold rush atmosphere today is primarily confined to the United States, I expect it to sweep the world as communications costs come down and a critical mass of localized content becomes available in different countries.

For the Internet to thrive, content providers must be paid for their work. The long-term prospects are good, but I expect a lot of disappointment in the short-term as content companies struggle to make money through advertising or subscriptions. It isn’t working yet, and it may not for some time.

So far, at least, most of the money and effort put into interactive publishing is little more than a labor of love, or an effort to help promote products sold in the non-electronic world. Often these efforts are based on the belief that over time someone will figure out how to get revenue.

In the long run, advertising is promising. An advantage of interactive advertising is that an initial message needs only to attract attention rather than convey much information. A user can click on the ad to get additional information-and an advertiser can measure whether people are doing so.

But today the amount of subscription revenue or advertising revenue realized on the Internet is near zero-maybe $20 million or $30 million in total. Advertisers are always a little reluctant about a new medium, and the Internet is certainly new and different.

Some reluctance on the part of advertisers may be justified, because many Internet users are less-than-thrilled about seeing advertising. One reason is that many advertisers use big images that take a long time to download across a telephone dial-up connection. A magazine ad takes up space too, but a reader can flip a printed page rapidly.

As connections to the Internet get faster, the annoyance of waiting for an advertisement to load will diminish and then disappear. But that’s a few years off.

Some content companies are experimenting with subscriptions, often with the lure of some free content. It’s tricky, though, because as soon as an electronic community charges a subscription, the number of people who visit the site drops dramatically, reducing the value proposition to advertisers.

A major reason paying for content doesn’t work very well yet is that it’s not practical to charge small amounts. The cost and hassle of electronic transactions makes it impractical to charge less than a fairly high subscription rate.

But within a year the mechanisms will be in place that allow content providers to charge just a cent or a few cents for information. If you decide to visit a page that costs a nickel, you won’t be writing a check or getting a bill in the mail for a nickel. You’ll just click on what you want, knowing you’ll be charged a nickel on an aggregated basis.

This technology will liberate publishers to charge small amounts of money, in the hope of attracting wide audiences.

Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products-a marketplace of content.

This essay is copyright © 2001 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

 

You can read more on Bill Gates here.

 


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The Fundamentals of Online Marketing JA Publications, Inc.

The Fundamentals of Online Marketing

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Successful online marketing strategies always start when the user’s best interest is put first.

By Jeff George

Let’s take it easy this week with a quick review of what’s important to focus on, and why it’s important to stay focused on impressing your customer. We’ll start out with a quick review of top things to invest time in and wrap up with some broader thinking around understanding, and catering to your customer.

 

1. The basics of SEO need covering -well written headings, depth of content, relevant linking to related content/topics, images, etc. But these days, most of this is so well-known, and so easily adjusted, it just shouldn’t take much time to account for. For some it’ll be more work, and for others less, but the fact remains that this work needs doing, and will return results on a somewhat limited basis on its own.

 

Lately, I have been hearing and reading the phrase “SEO is dead.” Incorporating human ranking in the Hummingbird update was vital to Google’s advancement in the search engine tech arena and was just one of the many great strides they have taken to keep their position as the leading search company. The truth is  SEO, for the most part, is dead. Techniques that once worked are ineffective at best and dangerous at worst. The definition of “White Hat” SEO is providing good, solid, user-useful, user-friendly content with properly written metadata. Plain and simple, that’s SEO these days. The key is being able to provide it to any industry.

 

 

2.  Social Media – You can’t escape this – you’ve got to have a voice these days. More followers than following on Twitter, solid engagement on Facebook helps, etc. There are no hard and fast rules with social – it’s about engaging in conversations with people, and by doing so, you position your business as a go-to resource, which then they tell friends about, they build links to, and the engines take notice off all that activity.

 

3. Content – The #1 place to invest time/money/effort is in creating content people want. People don’t wake up on Saturday AM and say “I think I’ll go type words into a search engine and see what happens”. No, they say, “I just bought a new car, where should I road trip?”, or “I need a new dishwasher, which is the best value and most efficient?” Build content that solves a searcher’s needs. Start with keyword research to understand what phrases people search on most, check your own analytics to understand what pages on your site they consume the most and get cracking on fill in the blanks.

 

 

4.  Usability – If I am choosing where to invest budget (time/money) – SEO, PPC, paid social, it’d be right here. Do usability studies, learn what works and doesn’t work on the site, then fix the problems and run with the winners. This is by far the best investment of time and money for most websites today.

 

The old saying “more than the sum of its parts” has never been more applicable than in the world of online businesses. SEO helps, content helps, social media helps, links help, images help, videos help, paid ads help and so on. But individually, as so many businesses approach things, the results can often be limited.

 

Have you ever ran a paid search campaign that you just thought should have done better? You really need to try optimizing an organic listing to be near the top spot alongside that campaign to see what difference that makes.

 

 

Have you ever run a social campaign and marveled at how few retweets, shares and likes it got? Try engaging your community with messages about and for them, then randomly, every now and then, include a call to action for them to come to you. You’ll see a difference.

Every time you sit down and think “I have N and want people to X.” you’ve already lost the game. When you start thinking “People clearly want N, and I can deliver X…wait, I need to deliver N.” you’re on the right path. Think from your customer’s POV and you’ll move in the right direction. Your customers want what THEY want, and if you happen to have that, it’s a match. If you try to make them take what you have, they’ll look elsewhere.

 

 

 


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Why Use Google Plus for Business Reasons? JA Publications, Inc. 6

Why Use Google Plus for Business Reasons?

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Here’s a few reasons why you should use Google Plus for business …

 

 

The experts at Google are working towards adding a more human element to search results and business marketing. This gives you the ability to share and connect with more like-minded individuals and groups through networking on Google Plus.

Attracting attention to your website can be a daunting task for many businesses. With such a huge assortment of social media venues to choose from, it’s hard to decide which one will provide you with the highest quality customers. Which social media site provides the greatest added benefit to Search Engine media?

I firmly believe that when you interact with Google and Google Plus, you are opening the window to the world. Google Plus is unlike all other social media, in that Google has become the biggest search engine company over the past couple decades. If you would like for us to handle all of your social media and SEO needs, give us a call or send us a message. We will take control of your brand and guide it to new heights.

 

Added Benefits

There are many added benefits for businesses that use Google Plus and some of the most exclusive benefits occur with your search engine results page. Not only will you have direct access to your business information, but your visibility will become much greater in Google’s search results. When customers look up your site, they will have direct access to maps, hours, contact information and your website. These small changes can have a huge impact on the way potential clients will interact with your business online.

One of the major benefits that businesses receive from Google Plus is Google indexing updates. The more you interact with Google and your community, the more up-to-date reports Google Search will keep on your website. Any added information that you update your site with will become available to Google users more quickly. This will let your potential customers know that the business is active and it brings a feeling of legitimacy to your business.

Remember, there is more to networking than just posting words on the internet and your business should engage and encourage client participation. With daily posts and polls, Google Plus will allow you to gather information and track your influence across the web. This allows any business, big or small, to gauge their success and failures.

why use google plus for business

Marketing your Brand

When it comes to marketing your brand, any social media site can open doors to potential clients. Taking into consideration the sheer number of users that use Google, any business would be silly to ignore the vast resources available in Google Plus. Google Plus has created Circles and Communities which are a great way to spread the word about your business and to interact with your customers. This gives you many opportunities to distribute information about your business and collect +1’s which improves the legitimacy and ranking of your site to a certain extent.

Google Hangouts will give your customers an added way to connect with you and your business using Skype enable chat. This gives you the ability to personally interact with your clientele and answer any question they may have about your business. This also gives you the added benefit of producing webinars which gives the ability to answer many questions at once. You can even create product tutorials so that your customers can get a feel for your new products.

 

 

Build a Reputation

As you build your online reputation, keep in mind that the most influential factor in driving both search engine ranking and customer interaction still remains to be great content. Google Plus gives authors and content writers Google Authorship Markup which has become a popular way to get noticed. This gives Google a fantastic way to validate your expertise in your field. With added visibility and ratings, your listings will become much easier to find in the search results.

Google Plus Local Business Page will give your company many subtle benefits as well. Google Maps can be a great way for customers to find your business. With the expansion of mobile devices, Google Business listings directly link your company to Google’s Map service. This one aspect will massively increase your visibility and bring potential clients to your door.

With the power of Google behind your business, you will find your customers are better served with online relations. The ease of communications and customer responses will add legitimacy to your business and invite future customers to participate in your online community. The more influence that you gain with your clients around the world, the easier it will be to persuade others to venture toward the opportunities that only your business can provide. As such, Google Plus for business will make a great addition to any online advertising campaign.

Here’s a short instructional video that will show you how to setup a Google Plus business page.