Archive for February, 2009

Looking into More Web 2.0 Stuff

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

A client of mine wanted to know how to efficiently blog and do social networking.  As I look for tools, I can certainly see how all of this can be confusing. 

This post is an experiment using a new browser called flock.  After setting up my personal blog to accept “desktop publishing,”  I am using Flock to write this post.  The picture below was dropped in using flock’s “web clipboard,” which means I could have gotten it from anywhere.   However, it appears that it needs to be on the web somewher, not the local file system.  However, if you use a picture from a website, if they change the location or remove the picture in the original website, you would lose your picture.

Anyway it is a cool experiment.

Can We Keep Our Older Workers?

Friday, February 20th, 2009

I still remember a fellow dorm hall resident at Virginia Tech who stated very clearly that he wanted to become a CEO at a major corporation.  He was already dressing the part.  At the job recruitement events it seemed like everyone wanted to work for somebody like “Big Blue.”  You would be set for life.  They even had a special career tracks for engineers who did not want to be in management.

Now I watch people in their 50’s and 60’s start their own companies because they got laid off and so many work places find reasons not hire older workers; but they do not “discriminate.”  Sadly, some of these people have as many as 40 or even 50 years of their life ahead of them.  Under our current typical retirement strategies, there are not enough of us in the succeeding generations to create an economy that will support these guys from now until their death under our the economic model we have used for the past 50 years.  Academically speaking, I guess these laid off workers could “go out to pasture” as a greeters at Walmart; but if we keep not hiring laid off older workers, the competition for greeters is going to get tough.

Considering that something like 90% of all small businesses fail in a few short years, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur for a whole long laundry list of ideas.  Based on these types of statistics we need to find real jobs for these folks.

Which makes me wonder–

Is there anyway in which we could gracefully allow people to keep their dignity and sense of well being by continueing to work at jobs they enjoy or need.  The business they work for would still need to make money with the employee, so there would have to be some sort of decrease in pay.

Nevertheless, could someone who is 65 in a physically demanding job in construction be considered full-time if they only worked 25 hours a week. Could a 70 year old grandmother and 30 year old mother of small children team teach a 5th grade class so that they both work half time but receive at least some benefits?  Instead of retiring, could the Cheif Financial Officer of a company become an auditor of the work of the next CFO in the company?

Can we change our current way of thinking?

Do You Know What Your Bounce Rate Is?

Monday, February 9th, 2009

It is not how many of your checks have rubberized and are getting returned for insufficient funds.

It is the number that tells you how many people came to your site and looked at only one page–Meaning they probably did not find anything terribly useful or interesting there (or they saw your number on the homepage and made an immediate call).  A good bounce rate is probably less than 30 percent on a homepage.

If you install Google Analytics on your site you will have this information.  (We install Analytics on all of the site that we do.)  Some of the other tools probably also create these statistics.

Generally speaking, people have to get comfortable with you, before they pick up the phone and call you or buy a product.  Therefore, you want people to explore your site and get to know you. Once you start watching your bounce rate, you can adjust your content and improve your relationship building through the website.

Tips on Creating Great Content–To Make the Funnel Work

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Here are some tips to help you create better content.

Know Exactly Who Is Likely to Buy Your Services

No, it is never, ever “everybody.”  Everyone may do taxes or need a plumber, etc, but not everyone you meet is going to pay to have someone do their taxes or want you to be their plumber.  What is their income? Where do they live? How old are they?  Do they have a family?  What ages are the family members?

Define Exactly What types of Audiences Are Likely to Visit Your Site

For example the Billboard Company that wants to sell to end advertisers like the local resteraunt and the billboard company that wants to sell to advertising agencies.
The property management company that talks with Investors versus the property management company that wants to manage your PUD and wants to interact with PUD residents via the website

What is your intended audience looking for when they get to your site?

For example a person doing closings may make more money off of the Title Insurance, but the buyers and sellers are just looking for a reliable place to handle the paperwork.  (Title Insurance—oh that’s required, Ok slap it on there.)
Is a person looking for vending supplies looking for low cost vending or are they looking to enhance company moral with excellent choices in the break room that taste great and happen the same way each time.

How much of the sales process can you accomplish on your website

Are you making a complete sale, providing general company information, creating a sense that you are knowledgeable, providing important details about the services you offer.

Define what actions you want them to take

Call for a proposal, call for information, buy a subscription, buy a product?

Get some Testimonials

What are your good clients saying about you!

What Is More Important–Content or Visibility?

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

That is actually a trick question.

Content without Visibility Does not Create Many Leads

That is, if no one finds you, then no one can respond to the great calls to action that you have created.  However, good content improves your rankings in the search engines, so that people can find you easier.

Visibility without Content is Costly

Many of the things that you can do to drive traffic to your website costs you time or money.  It costs a lot of money to optimize a page for search engines.  Link campaigns to improve your search engine rankings are also costly.  Pay per click campaigns usually start at around $400/month.  (Google AdWords is an example of a Pay Per Click campaign.  These are advertisements that get displayed whenever someone does a search.)

Every time someone comes to your site because of a program you paid for to get them their has a cost.  Every person that leaves your site without taking the action you want drives the cost of converting that traffic into sales up.

Example 1:  You spend $100 to get 10 visitors and 9 of them “bounce” and you get one sales call.  Then you have spent $100 per sales call from your website.

Example 2: You spend $100 to get 10 visitors and only 5 of them bounce and 5 of them call you.  Then you you have spent only $20 per sales call.

What Do We Recommend?

We suggest you work on your content first, then on your visibility.  It is the more cost effective solution.  Good content will get ranked well in Google and Yahoo eventually.  So it does a better job of accomplishing both objectives if you are short on money.

Our Next Post will have some suggestions to improve your content.

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