eBusiness Blog

How to Optimize Your Website for Local Search

How to Optimize Your Website for Local Search

13 Strategies to SEO Optimize Your Local Business Website

If you run a store-front business or offer a service that is within a specific local-based geographic area, then you will want to focus your marketing efforts on getting in front of local traffic.

Since many marketing initiatives are of a more global nature that don’t help you at all, there’s actually a few specific things you can do to ensure you get visible in front of the local people that you want to attract to your business.

Aside from using targeted Facebook and Google Ads, local search optimization can help your business be found in searches when people are looking for a business likes yours in their area.

Local search website optimization can help your business get found in searchesClick To Tweet

So what can you do to get your website to rank better for local search?

Here’s 13 techniques to improve your rankings locally:

  1. Make a list of local regions you’d like to rank for: This will include your city, your major metropolitan area, county, and province or state.  Think about the neighbouring towns that your business can also service in addition to your own.
     
    Then create long-tail keyword phrases for each of these.  For example instead of optimizing for “home staging”, you can optimize for several phrases including:”Yourcityhere home staging”  “Yourmetroregionhere home staging”, “YourCountyhere home staging”, “Yourregionhere home staging” etc.
  2. Add your business address at the footer of your website in text:  This not only acts as a clue that shows Google you are a local business but also shows your website visitors that they are in the right place.
     
    Showing your location and the areas served on your website is vital for localized businesses. It’s also a good idea to embed a dynamic Google Map for good measure and ease of customers finding your location.
  3. Add a link to your business on Google Maps: Check to see if your business is showing up on Google Maps and if not, add a submission to have it included.
     
    Not only will this serve to help customers find directions to your place, but it’s also another marker that tells Google where you are locally.
  4. Write a web page or blog post dedicated to each local keyword phrase: Using the keywords and geographic locations throughout your website is also important for the search engines to keep you top of mind in their search results.
     
    I’m not a huge fan of this technique as it can crowd your website but you can create a local keyword phrase-based web page or blog post for each page including each service you offer to give those rankings a boost. Avoid adding these pages to the primary navigation if possible; however, they do still need to link back to your website home page in order to get indexed.
  5. Optimize each web page to rank well for the keyword you are targeting: Put the keyword phrase in several spots in the wording and coding of your website pages including:
    • Meta keyword and description tags
    • File name or URL of the page. For example: best-home-staging-Abbotsford.html
    • Header of the page within an H1 tag
    • Sub headers of the page within H2 and H3 tags
    • File names of graphics used on the page
    • Hyperlinked text containing the keyword phrase, ideally located in the first and last paragraph of the page
    • Header tag using the keyword phrase at the end of the page
  6. Regularly write and post new local content: Adding new content to a website, especially as a blog post, is important for all websites. Making that new content location-based with your keywords in it makes it even more valuable.
     
    This could be a press release about things you are doing in the community.  You could do a review of a new local service or product.  You can also create a recommended links page that shares information about other complementary local businesses.
  7. Get back links on other local business sites: Ask other local businesses if you can trade links.  When they post a link or recommendation to your website, it improves your own website rankings.
  8. Take and share local pictures: Make a point to take pictures of your business doing things in local places. Name these pictures when you post them to your website or blog with file names including your local keyword phrases.
     
    When people go into Google Photo Search and look for “best home stager in Abbotsford,” if you have a photo with that file name, your image will come up at the top.
  9. Reference local landmarks: If you are near any major landmarks, reference them on your website.  For example if someone is typing “bedroom lamp shop near Grand Central Station” if you have that referenced on your website you can come up in Google searches for that phrase.
  10. Use Alt tags:  Make sure all the images used on your website have local keyword phrase file names and alt tags.
  11. Create an XML map or Site Map: This makes it easier for Google to spider all the pages of your website.
  12. Manually submit your website to local and niche directories: Using local directories and major directories with local listings is invaluable to getting your local business found.
     
    Directories such as Yelp, Foresquare. Moz, Hotfrog and Houzz are great places to start.  Create a full profile and be sure to add lots of pictures.
  13. Use Review Sites:  Leverage the power of review sites. Create free business accounts with some of the big reviews sites like Yellow Pages, Insider Pages, Angie’s List, etc. and encourage happy customers and regulars to write reviews about your business.
     
    Good reviews can go a long way with your customers and the search engines

Once you have optimized your website for local SEO, there are other off-site methods you can follow to boost your local search results as well.  So take the time to review your website and add local keywords, links, content and images and you’ll be on your way to getting more local customers.

Local SEO techniques plus off-site methods will boost your local business search resultsClick To Tweet

In order for your website to be found in the search engines and rank well in them, implementing standard SEO techniques like the ones listed above are paramount. If you are needing your website to get better found in the search engines, hiring a website and SEO specialist can ensure all of the necessary bases are covered. Give us a call today at eVision Media to help!

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Here’s 13 Strategies to Optimize Your Website for Local SearchClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Leadership Success Tips for Small Business Entrepreneurs

Leadership Success Tips for Small Business Entrepreneurs

How to Step Up and Be the Effective Leader Your Team Wants to Follow

Leadership is not a job title – it’s a set of closely-held beliefs and behaviors even when no one is looking.

So even though you own the business and put your heart & soul into it, you may not be as effective as you could be.

For every action, you take, there is a definite reaction. This may be an employee, a contractor, a VA or a vendor you deal with on a regular basis. Or it could be a family member, friend or neighbor.

Here are several key things you can do to stand out as a great leader:

Empower Those Who Support You

When good leaders are effectively empowering their support team, their lives are easier and their team is happier & more productive.

I use the term “Team” broadly so that it includes all of those who you need to support you and your business. When teams are empowered, leaders don’t need to spend a lot of time checking up on them, putting out fires, or lighting fires under people who are just not that into it.

Wouldn’t you rather focus your time working “on” your business and where you want to take it, rather than working “in” the business?

Use The ‘Speak Softly & They Will Listen Leadership’ Style

When we think of leadership, we tend to think of the commanding, visionary person who takes charge in a time of crisis and leads the company to victory. But there’s another form of leadership that I believe is much more effective at achieving high performance.

It’s the quiet leader that is heard the most! And you will never hear them declaring themselves to be the “Boss” when trying to convince someone to do something their way.

One of the primary traits of this leadership style is leading by example, and eliciting the behavior you want by demonstrating it, rather than just telling others to do it.

Daniel Goleman’s book, Primal Leadership, suggests that a coaching style of leadership may best describe the qualities of the quiet leader.  “The coaching style is the least-used tool in the leader’s toolkit,” says Goleman, “probably because it doesn’t look like leadership.”

Like a coach, a quiet leader can achieve breakthroughs by asking guided questions rather than giving orders or advice. And what better way to empower your team?

And quiet leadership isn’t just for those at the top, but applies across the spectrum, from the leader in all levels of management, to solo entrepreneurs, to leaders of the community fundraiser, the leader of the 12-year-old soccer team and the leader of the family.

So, what about you?  Are you stepping up to claim your rightful place as a leader? 

Incorporate Top Leadership Qualities

I think it’s important to note that contrary to what we’ve often been taught, great leaders are made, not born, so you can hone your leadership skills and become the leader you want to be.  Here are some of the top qualities that great leaders possess:

  • Fairness. They put their own feelings aside and look at what is best for their team.
  • Knowledge – They gather as many details about a situation as possible before deciding.
  • Decisive – They always proclaim their decision and then stand by it 100% until/unless more information comes to light that requires them to rethink their decision.
  • Communication skills. They keep their team apprised of all decisions that affect the team.
  • Honesty – They share as much information as they possibly can. And if it’s confidential, they tell them it’s confidential and they tell them when they will be able to give them more information.
  • Trustworthy – They can be counted on to always tell the truth and maintain confidences.

Motivate Others

Motivating your team is imperative to the well-being of its members and the accomplishment of the goals.

While it’s not always easy, there are tried and true ways you can help unleash the power and potential of your team.

Here are a few powerful leadership skills you can easily incorporate to bring out the best in others:

  1. Ask questions rather than give direct orders.
  2. To let others know that you noticed, give specific and sincere praise for accomplishments.
  3. Celebrate successes along the way – use every significant milestone as an opportunity for recognition and encouragement.
  4. Respect the professionalism and expertise of those you supervise. Ask for their input in planning, and give them autonomy and authority to complete projects.

Set Clear Expectations

Too often leaders assume each person knows what to do, but without clear goals and expectations, team members are left to their own imagination and must draw upon past experiences.

This can result in hesitation, indecision, lack of performance, miscommunication and the goals not being met.

Properly setting expectations for team members will set standards for excellence and results.

Here are a few tips on how to do that:

  1. Start with a vision of what you want the result to look like. Not just what you want done, but the results you want to achieve when the project is completed.
  2. Keep your focus on the desired outcomes and stay out of the weeds. Your goal is to guide and lead, not control every step. Letting individuals find their own route encourages them to use their strengths to their fullest potential. You hired them to do a job, so let them do it their way as much as possible.
  3. Tie the mission of the project to each team members’ tasks. People want to know that their role, whether large or small, makes a difference.
  4. Give feedback—and often! Feedback given along the way is received as coaching, not punishment.
  5. Give positive reinforcement and don’t mix it with the negative or “constructive” feedback. Mention the thing you like and you’ll get more of it. Be specific and prompt. If you do need to give constructive feedback, remember the “sandwich” method.Good first, then the negative, followed by another slice of good. And remember to focus on the behavior or issue at hand – don’t make it about their personality. For instance, telling an employee that what they did was wrong is a whole lot different than telling them they are stupid.

3 Secrets of Impactful Leadership

As you are leading and impacting others, to get the best results follow these three secrets.

So, what does it take to be an impactful leader? It comes down to three critical steps.

  1. Know where you are coming from – Know what you believe in and what your values are so that you can make decisions and lead your team in the direction that supports your vision.
  2. Adopt a leadership mindset that positively affects your behaviors, your outcomes and therefore your impact. When you have a leadership mindset, you take responsibility for your team and your results.
  3. Empower your team members to be their best. Identify the strengths and talents of your team and put them in the jobs that fit their strengths so they can help you achieve the goals.

After all, isn’t that what you’re after? Reaching a common goal while making a positive impact?

Your impact stems directly from your mindset as a leader, because your mindset affects your behaviors, which then affects your results. So, what is your mindset?

The term “mindset” means a mental attitude or inclination. Our attitude determines our behavior, and our behavior produces specific results. If you are getting effective results from those you are leading, you can rest assured that you are having a positive impact on them.

Are you getting the results and having the impact you want, or are you experiencing unwanted results and outcomes? By looking at the relationship between your mindset, your behavior, and your impact, you can integrate all three components to generate the results you really want.

We often engage in behaviors without considering that we have a choice in whether to engage in them. If your circumstances are not going the way you desire, you may feel and act like a victim. But you need to take accountability for your part and make different behavioral choices when necessary to assure a better result.

It is important that you understand that changing your behavior is only sustainable if you change your negative mindset to a leadership mindset.

A great example of this is what happens when people lose weight. If they just change their behavior – such as eat fewer calories – they lose weight. But if they don’t change their mindset around food, exercise and a healthy lifestyle, they rebound and gain their weight back.

This is because they haven’t changed the underlying problem – the mindset that drives them to overeat in the first place.

Changing your behavior without changing your mindset is not sustainable. Changing your mindset, however, creates sustainable behavioral change.

Observe your impact on others, observe your actions as you carry them out, and observe your mindset as it fills your thoughts and shapes your attitudes. When you notice negative and limiting thoughts, make a choice and reprogram your words and thoughts to assure positive, lasting changes.

Leadership:  It’s Mostly in Your Mind

Do you think of yourself as a leader? Do you enjoy leading? As you were growing up, did people tell you that you were a natural-born leader?

If you don’t see yourself as a leader, know that you are leading and probably not even recognizing it.  Why?  Because we are all leaders simply because of the influence we have on ourselves and others.  Whatever you believe, think, value, feel, or say influences how you act and the impact you have.

This attitude determines much of our behavior, and our behavior produces specific results.  If you are the leader of your life, in your work, and in your relationships, the results you get matter to you and those around you.

Are you getting the results or having the positive impact you want, or are you experiencing unwanted results and outcomes?  Your impact may be subtle or it may be profound; it may be small or it may be big; it may be obvious or not so obvious; it may be positive, neutral, or negative.

Observe your impact as it’s reflected back to you, observe your actions as you carry them out, and observe your mindset as it fills your thoughts and shapes your attitudes.  With this model, you have an ever-ready tool to use any time that you are not getting results you desire.

The Impact of Assumptions on Leadership

We all make assumptions. We naturally fill in gaps in what we think and perceive so that we can make sense out of our world and our experiences.

Sometimes the assumptions we make are accurate; sometimes they are inaccurate. Sometimes productive and sometimes counter-productive. Sometimes assumptions build community; sometimes they destroy. Sometimes they save us time; sometimes they waste time.

The assumptions you make can build bridges or destroy them. They can make peace or start a war.

Picture someone whom you know well. What is one assumption you make about that person? Where does your assumption come from? Why do you have that assumption? How does that assumption influence your behavior toward this person? Have you ever asked the person to confirm or refute your assumption? What would happen if you shared your assumption with this person?

As a leader, you have an obligation to notice you are making assumptions and then to check them out, particularly when you make an assumption that is negative in nature. Negative assumptions are particularly risky to hold on to. They create resistance and resentment. They fuel blame and anger. They get in the way of productivity and positivity.

The first step is to notice the presence of an assumption. Once you notice that you are making an assumption, consider communicating it. The purpose of communicating it is to have it confirmed or denied. This creates open communication, honesty, and an opportunity to clear the air or rectify a misunderstanding.

There are different ways to communicate an assumption. One way, perhaps the simplest, is to say it directly – tell the other person that you are carrying an assumption, and that you want to share it with him or her to determine if it is accurate or not. It may sound risky – and sometimes it is – but an unspoken negative assumption is much more dangerous than one that is spoken. When an assumption is brought out, an opportunity for healing, growth, productivity, and relationship-building is created.

If you are carrying a positive assumption, you have more latitude to decide if you want it to be unspoken, but even unspoken positive assumptions can sometimes get in the way.

Whenever you make assumptions, you have an impact on your experience and the experience of others. Generally, it is best to notice your assumptions and communicate them to others.

Effective Listening for Leaders

With organizations and individuals so fervently focused on the bottom line, it’s easy to ignore “softer” goals, such as listening well. All that touchy-feely stuff is a waste of my time, you might say or think.

On the contrary! A focus on listening can lead to more effective teamwork, higher productivity, fewer conflicts and errors, enhanced innovation and problem-solving, improved recruiting and retention, superior customer relations and more. As authors on leadership development have noted through the years, listening is not just a nice thing to do, it’s essential!

“Make the human element as important as the financial or the technical element,” wrote Stephen Covey in his seminal book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. “You save tremendous amounts of time, energy and money when you tap into the human resources of a business at every level. When you listen, you learn.”

As long ago as 1966, Peter Drucker, author of The Effective Executive and numerous other books, emphasized the importance of listening to both self and others as an essential step in bringing to light everyone’s role as contributors to the organization’s overall success.

Likewise, studies in Emotional Intelligence (EI) over the past couple of decades have found that leaders “infect” the Workplace (for better or for worse) with their attitudes and energy. To understand and influence these flows of emotions and motivational states, leaders need to be able to practice empathic listening skills.

Visionary leaders listen to values held by individuals within the group, enabling them to explain their own goals for the organization in a way that wins support.

Coaching leaders find opportunities to listen one-on-one to employees, establish rapport and trust, and help employees help themselves in matters of performance and information gathering.

Develop your curiosity. This helps with Covey’s suggestion: Seek first to understand. Genuine curiosity is felt by others and helps to open up their speech and your listening.

Pay attention to your listening. Replay conversations you’ve had and assess whether you listened well.

Seek feedback from people you trust to assess your listening skills.

Work with a coach. Coaches can help you discover ways to listen better not only to those you work with, but also to yourself.

Listening better will reward you with an entirely new level of communication and problem-solving skills, for empathic listening requires the ability to see multiple points of view in any given situation.

As an entrepreneur and small business owner myself I know the importance of creating an innovative, motivated – and motivating – support team. When I first opened my business, I did it all myself but it didn’t take me long to realize that my genius was in building the business, not behind the scenes dealing with all of the administrative tasks.

So step up, think big, go far beyond the box and let the leader in you shine!

About the Author, Katherine Hartvickson

Kathryn Wilking

Katherine Hartvickson is the founder and president of Hartvickson & Associates, Inc. dba Quantum Ascendance. She is an experienced business consultant and success coach. Since leaving the corporate world in 2009, her clients include business owners and other seriously committed professionals and entrepreneurs who want to gain the confidence and skills to break through the barriers of success and achieve their ideal life.

What separates her service from others is her experience in leading large teams and developing top performers in corporate environments and because of this, clients achieve individual & financial rewards and the recognition they earned without sacrificing their personal life. If you are interested in knowing more, she can be reached at www.QuantumAscendance.com.


How to Ensure Your Website is Ideally Positioned For Your Target Market

How to Ensure Your Website is Ideally Positioned For Your Target Market

5 Key Components Your Website Requires to Attract Your Ideal Client and Get the Sales You Want

Is your website attracting the right people who are actually interested in purchasing from you?

Or is it just sitting there and not really accomplishing what you hoped it would?

Every business owner wants to get more qualified traffic to their site and then convert that traffic into sales. I mean there’d be no point in having one if that weren’t the ultimate goal!

But it seems to me a lot of business owners miss the mark in HOW to make that goal a reality.

The truth is, you’re not going to get the results you want from a purchased WordPress theme or worse, a free WIX or GoDaddy site.  Sorry, but throwing up a cheap, pre-built site just for the sake of having something up is not going to win you any Brownie (or Scout) badges in the Business Marketing category (if there is such a thing??)

Why? Because those types of free, low-cost or DIY sites are not going to do the job you want them to unless you have expertise in all of the different factors a website requires that converts visitors into buyers.

Free, low-cost/DIY websites won't get results unless you have lots of web development expertiseClick To Tweet

This is why we design and build custom websites and never touch the purchased themes or drag and drop DIY sites. They simply aren’t going to get the job done that our clients expect.

What do I mean by that?

First, it’s important to understand your website serves many purposes such as:

  • A way to showcase your business and its offerings
  • A means for constant marketing and promotion 24-hours a day
  • A platform that emphasizes your brand positioning
  • A facility for converting visitors into paying customers
  • A device for attracting your ideal clients into your sales and marketing funnels so you can continue to nurture them

And in order to accomplish all of that, a lot of planning, strategy and design needs to take place.

To have a lead-generating website, a lot of planning, strategy and design is first requiredClick To Tweet

This article provides five factors that go into building and promoting a website that converts. Each factor requires the right expertise to make your site a client-attracting, lead-generating machine:

  1. Visually-Appealing Branding

    Your visual brand is extremely important. The impression people instantly get about you when they land on your home page or landing page will greatly impact their decision to keep exploring or move on to your competitor.

    Not Just a Pretty Logo…

    Branding is not just having a pretty logo designed by you or someone on Fivrr. It’s a visual representation that shows your understanding who your ideal client is and how to position yourself in front of them in order to appeal to them.

    Identify Your Ideal Client

    The first thing to do is define who the people are that are your perfect client. You need to clearly understand what problems they have and how your product or service will be a solution for them.
     
    This analysis needs to be a deep exploration not only of the typical demographics such as age, gender and location, but also a psychographics study of what emotional state they are in.
     
    The analysis will then help you understand what specific colours, imagery, fonts and other style assets to use on your website, logo and branding so that it strongly appeals to them.
     
    By going through this process and designing a website with a specific purpose of positioning you favourably in front of your ideal client, you will then “speak their language” and reassure them they are in the right place.

  2. Compelling Marketing Messages

    Having a visually appealing website is just half the battle. You also need it need to be user-friendly and not cause confusion that will potentially send them away.
     
    But more importantly, when your ideal client lands there, the words they read and the images they see also need to appeal to them.
     
    This is why you need to create a powerful marketing message through excellent copywriting that speaks directly to their situation, needs, challenges and struggles.

    Let Your USP Shine

    Your unique marketing message needs to be prominent on the home page through the use of headlines, videos, testimonials, and images. This message also needs to showcase your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) – why should they choose you over your competitor?
     
    Here’s more tips on what your home page should include.

    Your Home Page is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

    The rest of your site pages also need to stay focused with this intent. And having other means in getting your marketing message out to the masses is also a big factor to consider.

  3. Consistent Content Marketing

    Whether it’s a blog post, newsletter, podcast or YouTube show, pick at least one or two of these content marketing strategies and consistently get your message out there in front of the right people.
     
    Frequency is the key. But not only do you have to be consistent, you also have to create and stick to a marketing calendar where, at minimum, you should be producing informative content on a weekly basis.

    Create a Free Giveaway

    Most first-time users to a website won’t make an immediate purchase. This is why you want to get them into your newsletter database so you can continue to nurture them where they will eventually make the purchase when ready.
     
    This is often done using a free giveaway. Something that your ideal client would want to receive from you that would be very helpful to them.
     
    Do some market research to find out if a free report on a specific topic would be something they would find valuable enough to provide their name and email address for. It might be a video series that is more compelling to them.
     
    You need to find out what they will find irresistible and then create it.

    Create Shareable Content

    Your blog is a prime place for you to showcase your expertise and provide solutions to your ideal clients’ problems.
     
    By being consistent with creating and sharing new, informative content, the more you are developing the “Know, Like and Trust” factor with them. This then creates a better chance of them converting to paying clients.

  4. Implementation of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Strategies

    Once your website is built, it needs to be search engine optimized in order to be found through Google and other search engine results.
     
    The text, titles, descriptions and keywords all need to be in alignment with what your ideal client will be searching for when they are looking for a solution to their problem, of which your product or service will provide.
     
    Your website should also be submitted to various search engines and directories to ensure it is being properly indexed and found.

  5. Active Social Media Involvement

    When you know who your ideal client is, it’s easier to find them on social media and draw them to your website.
     
    Provide valuable, informative and inspirational posts you know they will want to receive from you to help build your brand exposure. This will compel them to want to check you out further by visiting your website.
     
    Be sure to use the 20% rule and sprinkle in promotional posts amongst your value-driven posts that will drive traffic back to your website.
     
    Also make sure your visual brand is consistent throughout all your social media accounts. That’s very important for brand continuity so your ideal client will begin to recognize you and your business just by seeing your brand visuals.

‘Cheap and Easy’ Could Be Costing You Qualified Business Leads

As you can see there are several factors involved in having a website that will actually get you results.

So before you convince yourself the cheap and DIY route is the best way to go, take into consideration how much potential business you could be losing because your primary piece of marketing, your virtual storefront if you will, is not appealing to the right people.

If you’re worried your website is not reaching its true potential, give us a call and let’s discuss how we can turn that around for you.

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Here’s How to Ensure Your Website is Ideally Positioned For Your Target Market from @eVisionMediaClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Why Business PR Starts with Knowing Your Ideal Target Audience

Why Business PR Starts with Knowing Your Ideal Target Audience

How well do you know your ideal client or your target audience?

In business, there are many ways to go about getting clients. We have the service-based business where we take on clients where we work with them one-on-one or in small groups, and we have the kind of business where we are selling a commodity.

Each kind of business takes a different sales approach. The first is often more relationship-based, and the second is often more product-based.

Service-based businesses

If you’re selling a service, how often do you, as a business owner, take work that isn’t a perfect fit?

The live client is there and in front of you – so yes! You’ll take the work.

But what if you only took work that was a perfect fit for you and your business? Do you even know what a perfect fit is for your business?

Understanding your ideal client is more than knowing their age, their demographic and where they hang out online.

It’s about knowing yourself and your business offerings.

What is it that you offer that’s unique to you?

Why would people want to hire you over anyone else?

Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you get really clear on what your strengths are as a business and who you’re really after in an ideal client:

Analysis of Core Strengths:

  1. If a complete stranger were to come up to you and you had no idea their background or what their interests might be, what would you tell them that you did?
  2. What do you know you do better than almost anyone else you know?
  3. What is it that you love to do and would gladly do for free? No matter what?
  4. What’s your track record? What are your most favourite clients or projects and why?

Analysis of Ideal Client:

  1. Describe the last client who hired you. What was their:
    1. Gender
    2. Age
    3. Income bracket
    4. How did they hear about you?
  2. Now do a review of the clients who have hired you over the past year. Create a spreadsheet analysis of their commonalities.
  3. Rate, on a scale of 1-10, how much you enjoyed working with each one of them.
  4. What are you learning?

Product-based businesses

What if you’re selling a product?

It’s the latest, greatest thing to hit the travel community or the housewares department.

This involves a broader approach to your sales and still requires you really getting connected to why your ideal client (or target audience) would buy your product.

This can really help when designing PR campaigns to reach them.

What are your target audiences looking for?

Why might they buy the product?

What else can you do to cross-promote the product? E.g. If you are selling a travel accessory, writing articles and creating content that creates an experience for the reader would be a great way to promote your product.

But the catch is you need to know where they hang out, what they read, where they get their news, and what they like to do for fun.

Analysis of Your Product:

  1. Is your product a luxury or needs-based product?
  2. Is your product something that will be repeatedly purchased or is it likely a one-time only purchase?
  3. What need are you filling when people purchase this product?
  4. Can you create an experience around this product? i.e. is it just coffee that you’re selling or are you selling friendship and a relaxing moment in your day?
  5. When would people likely think of purchasing your product?

Analysis of Ideal Customer:

  1. Describe your ideal customer – why would they purchase your product?
  2. What do you know about your ideal customer?
    1. Gender
    2. Age
    3. Income bracket
    4. Where do they purchase your product?
  3. What’s the need you are filling when they purchase your product?
  4. What other things do your customers have in common? For example, if they are purchasing a travel-related product, what else might they purchase and where?

The more we know about your ideal customer or client the more we can use different marketing and communications techniques to reach them.

Here is a list of different ways that you can advertise to your ideal client or customer without them feeling like you’re selling to them:

  1. Blog articles
  2. News media stories that mention your product or establish a need for your product
  3. Speaking Engagements at events
  4. Client or customer contact events
  5. Referrals from previous customers or clients
  6. Social media posts
  7. Sponsorship of causes you care about
  8. Posting opinion pieces that raises your company’s profile
  9. Entering contests that promote your business
  10. Giving away product promotion pieces that have people remember you

The better you know your ideal client or your target audience, the more likely these PR tactics will reach them and turn into sales for you!

About the Author, Susan Elford

Kathryn Wilking

Susan Elford, PR Strategist & Leadership Coach, works with start-ups and seasoned entrepreneurs to help them get real about their strengths and celebrate them so they get more of what they want; clients, exposure and success, while living a life of balance.

Visit Susan at www.elfordcommunications.com for traditional PR support and www.susanelford.com for a look into how she works with her coaching clients.


Key Elements of an Effective Book Launch Page

Key Elements of an Effective Book Launch Page - 13 tips to creating a book launch page that sells

13 tips to creating a book launch page that sells

Your dream of writing a book is finally complete.  Congrats. 

But now what? What’s the best way to get your book campaign off to a big start?

Last week I wrote about the importance of incorporating landing pages into your website to aid in your business marketing efforts so this week, I wanted to get into creating a landing page specific for a book launch.

In order to successfully launch your book, you’re going to need an effective landing page that compels prospective buyers to make the purchase during your book launch campaign.

A successful book launch requires an effective landing page to compel buyers to purchaseClick To Tweet

Keep reading to find out the key elements needed on your landing page to generate your desired sales.

Here’s 13 tips to creating a book launch page that sells:

  1. Domain Name: Buy a domain name that matches the title of your book.  Then have it point to the page on your website where your book launch landing page resides.
     
    This makes it easy to tell others where to find the book during your launch campaign.
  2. URL With Book Title: When you create the book landing page, it will automatically have your website URL in the address but you want to take that a step further by ensuring the rest of the URL includes keywords from your book title. This really helps boost SEO.
     
    As an example, the URL might look like: www.mywebsite.com/name-of-book/
  3. 3d Book Cover: Hire a graphic designer who can take the cover of your book and create a stunning 3D image that will make your book cover really pop on the page.
     
    Visuals like this really help sell the book when people can see what it looks like, catches their attention and ultimately helps convince them to take action.
  4. Testimonials: During the final stages of writing your book, give out several preview copies to notable colleagues so they can provide quotes for the book launch.
     
    Add these testimonials, along with a photo of the colleague if possible for a more powerful social proof statement, to the book launch landing page.
  5. Book Description: Before deciding to make the purchase, people need to first get clarity on what they will learn or experience after reading, be convinced it’s going to help (or entertain) them in some way, and what those benefits or outcomes will be.
     
    Always address the “why” when they are asking: “What’s in it for me?”.
  6. Headlines: Use compelling headlines to break up the sections of your book page into easy-to-read segments. Use larger font sizes and contrasting colours to make the headlines pop out and be easily scanable.
     
    This way, if people only read the headlines, they will still get the important messages of the page.
  7. Author Photo: Include a professional headshot along with a short bio so prospective purchasers can see who wrote the book and connect with you emotionally.
     
    This makes for a key trust-builder so an essential element on the page.
  8. Call to Action: Create a written call to action that leads the prospective purchaser to your ultimate goal, which is to purchase the book.
     
    You want to make this clear and value-driven. It also helps to add a sense of urgency that will compel them to make a purchase decision now, rather than later. Many times using a limited time offer of a free gift with purchase is a great way to create that urgency.
     
    So your call to action would be something like this: “Order your copy of MY BOOK TITLE today and, for a limited time, receive immediate access to the Business Gift Bundle featuring gifts from today’s leading experts!”
  9. Buy Now Button: It’s important to have both written and graphic calls to action to increase conversion. So located right underneath your written call to action as described above, have a large red or orange button that literally tells people what to do next: CLICK HER TO BUY NOW.
  10. Next Steps and Submission Form: A confused mind will say, “no” so it’s your goal to ensure all steps involved in order the book and claiming the bonus offers are laid out and crystal clear.
     
    If your book is for sale on Amazon and you need the purchaser to provide proof of purchase in order to receive their bonus gifts, then in a numbered step-by-step format, tell them to first buy the book on Amazon (and provide the link), retrieve their order number, and then come back to your website to enter their information in a form you have provided.
     
    This form should ask the purchaser for their full name, email address and a field to enter in the Amazon order number.
     
    By the way, offering a gift with purchase not only helps compel people to buy, but also serves as a list-building opportunity. It helps you to know who has purchased your book and be able to continue developing a relationship with them through your mailings and newsletters.
  11. Social Sharing: You want to do all you can to help spread the word about your book launch so be sure to add social sharing buttons that encourage fans to share the book with their friends and followers.
     
    Add the social sharing buttons at the bottom of the page, both on the landing page and also on the resulting thank you page after they have submitted the form or made the purchase if you are selling within your website.
  12. Social Graphics. Some fans will want to take their social sharing to the next level and help share the news about your campaign to others. JV partners and affiliates can also be a part of this.
     
    The key is to make this as easy as possible for them so create some graphics and banners they can copy, paste, and use on social media or even their blog to help spread the word.
     
    If you are wanting to enlist JV Partners and Affiliates, you will want to set up an affiliate tool that produces a unique tracking URL for them to use so you can then reward them for their efforts of resulting sales.
  13. Hashtags: Don’t forget about the power of hashtags.  Create a unique, official book launch hashtag people can use throughout the promotion on social media. This also helps you track how many people are helping you spread the word.

I hope this checklist helps you include all of the important information you need to make a book launch page that sells.

If you need assistance in creating your book launch page and/or need some expert guidance on creating and implementing a launch campaign for your upcoming book, give us a call!

Hope you make the bestseller list!

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Here’s 13 tips to creating a book launch page that sells from @eVisionMediaClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Top 13 Ways Landing Pages Can Build Your Business

Top 13 Ways Landing Pages Can Build Your Business

What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Landing Pages to Aid their Marketing Efforts

For many entrepreneurs and business owners, the online marketing scene can very confusing and overwhelming. All that marketing terminology that’s constantly being thrown out there on a daily basis is enough to make one pull the covers over their head and hope it all just goes away.

It can be tough to get up to speed and learn the lingo well enough to be able to make informed decisions on whether your business could benefit from the latest and greatest marketing techniques available or not.

Want to throw your head under the covers and hide from marketing? This will helpClick To Tweet

That’s always been my goal with writing these business-related articles – to help you get the clarity you need to be able to move forward in an informed way.

So today’s article shares some insights into landing pages.

Landing pages got their name from marketing campaigns that were designed to drive targeted people to a specific page on a website with the intention of converting them to do something.

That “something” is detailed later in this article but first, let’s explore what they are.

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is simply a website page, but it looks different from a typical website. The difference being it has a primary focus – a single “call to action” or focused objective the site owner wants its visitors to do.

So a well-designed landing page will not have any distractions on it like a navigation or links to other pages or websites. The primary reason for this is to keep the visitor focused on that main objective: take action.

Effective landing pages should not have any distractions and focus on the user taking actionClick To Tweet

This is commonly referred to as “conversion” where the person has converted from being a visitor to someone that has acted on the objective call to action.

There are two primary types of landing pages: Click Through and Lead Generation.

The click-through landing pages have a goal of persuading the visitor to click through to another page. This is often done in eCommerce situations where a campaign will send people to a click-through landing page and provide compelling details about a specific product or program and then display a button that will lead people to purchase that item.

Lead generation landing pages are used to capture the name, email address and perhaps other pertinent information from the user so it can be entered into a database list. That database list, which is typically stored in a newsletter platform service, can then be used to follow up with those people either through an Auto Responder series, newsletter sendouts or various promotional campaigns.

Why You Should Use Landing Pages

Landing pages serve a great purpose when wanting to generate leads and sales for your business. As already mentioned, they provide a no-distraction means to get specific people who are in your ideal target market to get into your marketing funnel.

Landing pages serve a great purpose when wanting to generate business leads and salesClick To Tweet

This marketing funnel can help you develop a “Know, Like and Trust” factor with these people using the follow-up strategies mentioned above.

The more they know, like and trust you, the more apt they are to purchase from you either now or later down the road.

Landing pages are typically used in conjunction with launches or ongoing list-building efforts by driving traffic to the page via Google, Facebook and other ad platforms, content marketing and social media promotions.

To really give your launches a big boost, you can use list segmentation and ad targeting to a variety of landing pages designed for specific audiences.

13 Top Ways of Using Landing Pages

Here’s a brief list of ways you can use landing pages to help boost your business:

  1. Offer a free giveaway such as a downloadable PDF eBook, checklist, report or workbook. You could also make it a video series to really captivate your audience.
  2. Ask users to participate in a Quiz or Survey. The responses will reveal a solution or explanation to a problem that showcases your expertise
  3. Create an event sign-up page for an upcoming webinar, teleseminar or even telesummit
  4. Offer a free consultation for the professional services you offer
  5. Promote a new or existing product or program that you’re offering
  6. Offer a free chapter in a book launch/promotional campaign
  7. Set up a free trial offer for a membership program
  8. Provide incentive for people to ask for a quote
  9. When compelling enough, a simple newsletter signup request can bypass the need for a free giveaway
  10. Provide informative case studies or white papers
  11. Offer limited-time-only coupons or special offers
  12. Have them enter a contest
  13. Compel people to sign up to receive “sneak peak” notifications of a future product or program launch.

So as you can see, there are a variety of ways a landing page can be used to help improve your business marketing efforts.

If you would like to give this a try but don’t know how to put it all together, give us a call as we do this for many of our clients!

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Here’s the Top 13 Ways Landing Pages Can Build Your Business from @eVisionMediaClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

What a Baby Giraffe Teaches Us About Viral Campaigns

What a Baby Giraffe Teaches Us About Viral Campaigns

5 Ways You Can Boost Your Business Exposure

Looking for your next big marketing campaign?  Could your business use a brand exposure boost?

You may want to take a lesson from the Animal Adventure Park in New York.

April the Giraffe is close to giving birth any moment now.  Millions worldwide have been captivated on YouTube, watching April the Giraffe’s journey to giving birth (and yes, I’m guilty to admit I too am one of them!).

While following April’s progress from when the Adventure Park thought she was near her delivery date may have started to be a simple enough event, the world began to take notice and April’s pregnancy quickly went viral.

Interestingly, the live feed was installed to help the staff monitor her without needing to be in the barn 24-7. They thought it would be fun to make this feed available to the public at the same time.

Little did they know within days they would have millions of viewers watching April’s every move, anxious to not miss the big event.

In fact, if you read the comments on their Facebook page, you’ll see just how many are intently keeping tabs on the big girl and her mate Oliver in the pen next to her.

While being a daily follower (good thing I have 3 monitors so can always easily check in to see what she’s up to), the huge success of this campaign has me thinking about the lessons we business owners can learn about strengthening our brand identity using this unique case study.

April the Giraffe provides an excellent case study on viral marketing and brand exposureClick To Tweet

So here’s 5 ways you too can build your business exposure as we examine a few tactics from April’s playbook:

  1. Live Video

    Who can resist the thought of seeing a baby animal? Baby animals are a huge draw and April’s soon-to-be-born baby is no exception.
     
    Having a live video allows people to feel they are a part of the experience. Aside from YouTube, Facebook LIVE, Instagram Stories and Snapchat all have a live feed ability. What can you share live that your followers would find of interest?
     
    Remember people don’t want to be marketed to; they want to be a part of something and be entertained.  And once they become part of the story, they get addicted.
     
    Live video is great marketing and an excellent way of building your brand reach.

    Live video is great marketing and an excellent way of building your brand reachClick To Tweet
  2. Sponsorship

    Not only has the Animal Adventure Park gotten incredible visibility out of April the giraffe, but they also turned it into a revenue generating activity.
     
    If you notice, Toys R Us is a sponsor for their video feed.  That’s an excellent fit considering their Geoffrey the Giraffe is the mascot of Toys R Us and kids love the zoo. If you are looking to get a gift for your child then check out my kid needs that’s guide.
     
    The Park set up a Go Fund Me Account and a page asking for other corporate sponsors who want to cash in on the exposure for their brand.

  3. Social Media

    Twice a day, updates are added to the Park’s Facebook page giving their fans insider information about April’s progress.
     
    Fans get to see close-up pictures and read about the latest vet reports of this mama Giraffe to be.  This has been a very effective hook to boost Facebook likes for their business page.

  4. Custom Emoji

    Emoji’s have become a very popular part of pop culture and the Adventure Park capitalized on this by offering an April the Giraffe emoji to their fans.
     
    Why not make your own emoji to create buzz for your own marketing campaign? Make it easy for fans to spread the news for you! Plus, emoji’s are downright fun. Who can resist?

  5. Live Chats

    Every night the Park staff enable the live chat feature on YouTube and respond to as many fans as possible. It literally is a zoo during these chats! Thousands show up to ask questions, make a donation to boost their question’s visibility, and be a part of the whole experience.
     
    Facebook LIVE is a great tool to facilitate live chats. It provides an opportunity for you to showcase your expertise as well as your brand and offer a way for your followers to get to know, like and trust you more.

    Facebook LIVE is a great tool to facilitate live chatsClick To Tweet

Launch Your Own Viral Campaign

Today’s media has changed the way consumers interact with brands.  Your potential customers are exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day.

No one wants to be sold to, but everyone wants to buy.

Which companies do they choose to shop with?  The ones who create community, engagement, and an incredible brand experience just like how the Animal Adventure Park did.

So stick your neck out like April the Giraffe has and you’ll give birth to greater sales and visibility for your business.

Want to learn more about social media and the tactics you can use to help build your brand exposure?

21 Day Social Media Challenge April 17th

I’m holding a 21 Day Social Media Challenge starting Monday, April 17th. For only $21 you will receive bite-sized tips and strategies on social media every day for 21 days.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE 21 DAY SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE TODAY!

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

What a Baby Giraffe Teaches Us About Viral CampaignsClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The Power of Unplugging and Prioritizing Time for Rest

The Power of Unplugging and getting rest

How Busy Entrepreneurs Can Prioritize Time for Rest

The problem with our harried, living on adrenaline, multitasking overloaded culture is that running without stopping strips our lives from meaning.

I’m talking about 50-60-hour workweeks, working late into the night and over weekends, being a slave to your to-do list, and eating lunch at your desk or “car dining.”…

Do you feel like you are running like crazy but never getting anywhere (like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland)?

And yet, paradoxically, if you unplug regularly you actually get more done!  That’s because regular rest renews your energy and motivation; it reconnects you to your joy, to your communities, and heals your soul.

Sadly, in the relentlessness busyness of modern life, we have a culture that promotes doing anything is better than doing nothing!

Overriding our natural rhythms enables us to get more done as does the lure of multitasking that teaches us how to never fully engage or fully disengage from anything!  It’s the reason why so many of us experience sleep disorders – we’ve lost the art of being delightfully inactive!

Do you prioritize time for rest?

I’m not talking about sacking out in front of the television; television is hardly restful these days!  No; TV is designed to stimulate you; to rile you up or to make you feel badly about yourself so that you will want to buy or consume something that will make you feel better!

Taking a retreat on a regular basis from the demands of your life, whether it’s a 2-hour retreat or an afternoon retreat, will require some planning and education of other key players in your life.

Some years ago, when I started taking Sunday as my retreat day, I carefully explained my lack of availability for invitations, phone calls and emails on that day of the week.

It didn’t go well…  I was greeted with shock and horror that I wouldn’t be available 24/7.  Invitations came with the request: “Perhaps you could make an exception for this?”  Emails arrived with a header, “I know you don’t work on Sundays but perhaps you could find time for me?”

I ended up disconnecting the phone and unplugging the computer.

What rejuvenates you?

Planning time for rest is essential, and scheduling those times into your calendar is a must – but remembering what juices you, what fills you and what recharges your batteries is important too – otherwise, you may default to filling the space with working.

Spending time in nature is especially renewing, as is napping, bathing, dancing, cooking, creating, walking or running.

I used to start each retreat day with the question, “What do you need?”  I’d ask it again periodically throughout the day.

Sometimes, I needed sleep more than anything.  Sometimes, I needed to simply be in the peace and quiet, the stillness.  Other times, I felt more creative and would start an art project, or experienced the joy of reading a book cover to cover.

Do you need to be alone? 

It’s your choice.  If you can disconnect around other people for a period of time, then it’s not necessary to be alone.  Provided they understand the new rules.

You might like to light a candle as a reminder that you are resting for this period of time.  Perhaps later, you would enjoy coming together in a family meal.  Or, to enjoy your partner’s undivided attention as you share your insights.

What are the costs of a life without rest?

Who suffers the most?  The children, who can never get your attention? “Mom!  Mom!”  “I’m on the phone!”  “You’re always on the phone…”

Is it your spouse?  Or, is it your friends and community?

Or, is it your clients; yes, you show up for them, but how are you really showing up? Or, is it you?  Demanding too much out of a day and pushing your body to its limits is like waging war on your soul.

If we only stop when all the work is done, we will never stop. 

The pace of technology allows us to be seduced by artificial urgency that prevents us from listening to our own deepest truth. When we don’t take the time to really rest, we lose our way.

We “don’t have time” to listen to our inner wisdom.

We “forget” who and what is most important in a well-lived life.

When we are exhausted, we can be surrounded by people all day long and still feel disconnected and lonely.  The frenzy of activity diminishes our capacity for inner peace.

If you are New Year Resolution averse, perhaps you simply need to reset your intentions and intend that this year you will take the time to savor life.

Love and blessings,
Aimée

Aimée Lyndon Adams

About the Author, Aimée Lyndon-Adams

Aimée Lyndon-Adams is both a seasoned corporate executive and a metaphysician practicing spiritual energy healing. She has provided coaching and healing sessions to individuals, couples and groups and has offered an energy management curriculum of training classes for many years. She is an articulate and charismatic speaker and facilitator.

Visit www.WhatTrulyMatters.com to claim instant access to your free gift for your juiciest life EVER!