This article was originally published in the March 2013 edition of Ask The Experts. We’ve also included a video presentation Ryan gave at a recent Digital Technology Forum.
If you’re like most business owners, you already underdand the importance of having a website. You know that it’s required, and you’ve decided to move forward with getting one built. That’s great. But have you considered the implications of the ‘new web’?
In the last 3-5 years, there have been some fundamental changes to the web thanks to smartphones and the rise of social media. What are these changes, and how do they affect your website needs and strategy?
The Web is Now Mobile & Social
At nine10, we recognize this change and have an internal mantra that guides us in all things web. Websites should be ‘Mobile-First’ & ‘Social by Design.’ In this article we’ll start with exploring what ‘Mobile-First’ means.
While developing a new website for our marketing agency, we spent a good deal of time looking at our lead capture forms and how we could improve them. We started with a typical lead capture form, the “Request an Appointment” form from our previous website. What we ended up with on our new site is something we’ve dubbed “The Lead Capture SuperForm.” This article describes how we came up with this lead capture form and how it helped us increase the leads generated on our website by over 1,400%.
Starting an online store appears to be the perfect solution to grow beyond the four walls of your business or earn some extra income. After all, an online store is relatively inexpensive to start, and presents a tremendous opportunity for growth. How could you fail?
But the reality is that it’s not as dreamy as it sounds. The process of growing a successful online business is fraught with pitfalls, complications, and most of all, hidden costs. In this article, we’re going to debunk some of the common myths of being successful as an online seller, and hopefully help you make a more informed decision about your next venture.
Google has recently published a new website titled ‘How Search Works.’ Their animated website reveals the many mysteries that bring the Internet to your doorstep. It’s amazing how much complexity goes into something we take for granted—for example, Google’s search index spans over 100 million gigabytes of information.
It also explains why it’s not easy to answer the question “Why isn’t my website at the top of search?” You may have all the right words on your site, but there’s a lot more going on than you realize. Google uses over 200 factors (many of them top secret) to rank pages in the results. Some of these factors include:
If you’ve looked at our website design packages, you’ll notice there’s a bit of a jump in price to move up to the Premium level. We often get the question: Why are the Premium sites so much more? There are many reasons, but I’m going to highlight three of the key ones: 100% custom design, mobile optimization, and the ability to customize and grow the site.
As a full-fledged marketing lover, I enjoy a good blog as much as the next person. Unfortunately, the truth is, more Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders have chosen to put their blog on hiatus, updating it only to highlight internal milestones. Even my beloved Arlene Dickinson seems to have dropped off the blogosphere.
Mainly these companies have opted for the instant engagement gratification that comes from social media, ditching the roots of establishing expertise, which is blogging. Like any project, your blog is bound to fail if you are not committed to the process.
In this day and age, many unsolicited business calls go unanswered. Modern sales and marketing professionals are up against savvy buyers that are more empowered than ever by easy access to detailed product information on the Web.
Everyone is connected to the latest information. And if buyers don’t want to hear from marketers, they have a variety of technologies (e.g. Caller ID, email spam filters, etc.) to block out marketing attempts to get in touch. But surely some people are able to get through all these defense mechanisms and land that one magical deal. Or are they?
Measuring Results—Both Online and Offline—by Integrating Digital Media
The old saying goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” The beauty of mediums like the web, social media, and mobile devices make it extremely easy to measure and report on results. The reporting is automatic, accurate and incredibly detailed.
But the real power of digital media is when it’s combined with traditional (radio, newspaper, billboards, etc.) Digital media provides a way to measure your traditional campaigns. Suddenly, your billboards and radio ads have a measurable component that you can use to evaluate your efforts.
An ode to the heroes of the long tail in content publishing.
It’s time to recognize the small businesses and independent marketers who publish unique and interesting content every day. The kind of content that doesn’t always make the trending lists and first-page of Google. The kind of content that serves up a unique viewpoint amid the onslaught of high-brow “me-too” publishers taking up all of the spotlight.
If there’s one thing I’ve been learning as a business owner, it’s the importance of choosing partnerships wisely. I’m not only talking only about legal business partnerships, but almost any affiliation your company can enter into. This means business partners, suppliers, sponsorships, employees, and even clients.
Over the years our company has been in business, we’ve been approached by many people for various opportunities. From profit-sharing ventures to vendors wanting a piece of the action—and everything in between. A few of them we’ve accepted based on the potential benefit it could bring both companies. We viewed them as true win-win scenarios—how could they possibly fail?
Well, quite a few of them did. But we learned something about each one, and over time, how serious a partnership really is. I’d like to share with you some of our experiences in a few of these areas.