Your Online shop Front

If you have a business would you leave a broken window and tape it up with a bin bag?

Would you ignore a customer standing at your till?

Would you moan out loud?

Would you put no prices on your stock?

I can’t imagine any business owner answering yes to these questions but is the same of your online shop/ business?

Let’s ask the same questions again but with online in mind:

If you have a business would you leave a broken window and tape it up with a bin bag? Broken links on your website really irritate your customers. They stop you customers going where they want to go. When was het last time you checked the outgoing links on your website worked?

Would you ignore a customer standing at your till? Questions, complaints queries etc left on your website or social media should be answered within 48 hours if possible. Not replying is just like ignoring a customer in your shop. If other people see that you haven’t responded they will think you are not bothered about your customers.

Would you moan out loud? Statuses on your Facebook or Twitter will give your customers an impression of you as a person and you’ll be judged by it so try not to put up that you’re fed up of customers who are rude for example. Always give out a positive vibe.

Would you put no prices on your stock? You may think that by not putting prices on your stock that people will call you or visit you to find out. Wrong. They’ll go to a site where they can find prices and then price comparison on other websites. You won’t even be in the race.

You need to ensure all of your websites have consistent branding and message so people remember you.

Here’s a logo quiz for you just as a reminder of the power of brand recognition:

Famous Logo Quiz

Here are my tips for a tidy shop:

*check all links work
*Is website easy to navigate round?
*Are images clear and good quality?
*Can customers contact you easily?
*Is it easy to read?

Sounds easy but most people don’t check their own websites.

For a free analysis of your website just ask me.

Enjoy your week and thanks for reading.

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Are You For Real?

There’s only one thing you need to get right if you are promoting your business in any way on the internet.

Are you real?

It might sound silly but Google is looking for signs all the time that prove you are a real business worth promoting to their searchers.

Here is my top list of ways to prove your real:

1: A website that has been built and left the same day in day out will slowly go down the ranks. Google will stop looking at it because nothing new is going on it and this proves no real value to visitors.

2: Add a blog to your site to add fresh content on a regular basis and also prove you are the expert in your field. Writing a blog takes dedication and a little bit of time. It does get easier if you build it in to your routine.

3: Links to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are essential but just like your website they must be updated regularly with engaging content. Get involved in discussions, reply to reviews and build your audience.

4: Make sure the web pages on your website are labelled correctly. You would be surprised how many businesses miss out key information like location. Ensure photographs are labelled too. Often pictures are labelled photo a for example which Google will not find any value in. Label them as a description and location. Right click on information pages/ images and view source to see what the labels are.

5: Add testimonials. People trust what other people say so a make sure there are fresh reviews on your site.

6: Add your business to as many local directories as you can- paid for or free. Just make sure you monitor them and ensure all information is accurate.

7: Act real! Add photos to your social media or websites of your staff, of you, of your work. Add testimonials. Respond to reviews and complaints. Respond quickly. Respond professionally.

8: Regularly Google your business to make sure there are no skeletons from your closet lurking in the search engine.

Above all see the internet as an opportunity to brand and promote your business.

Be aware though- you’re customers will be more demanding and expect responses quickly.

Don’t disappoint.

If I can be of any help please let me know

Show Your Wares…

Think of your website like a shop and you’ll starting differently.

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Here are my top ten tips to help you:

  1. Make sure there is a Google map reference on your site plus information in your pages of the area you cover/deliver to
  2. Add buttons that encourage visitors to Like you on Facebook or Follow you on Twitter
  3. Give your site the personal touch with photographs of your staff, your showroom, your work and maybe even a photo of you. Label the photos with definitions Google will love and not photo one for example.
  4. Is there fresh content on your site that is changed on a daily, weekly, monthly basis? Google likes sites that have fresh content as it shows that you are a real business. If you stop updating your content Google will stop showing your site to people.
  5. Is there a chance to leave reviews?
  6. Can visitors navigate the site easily and get what they came for?
  7. Are your web pages labelled with phrases people search on i.e quality windows in Swansea? You’d be amazed how many pages are just called the company name.
  8. Regularly check your competitors website to make sure you are competing.
  9. Make sure all of the links on your website work. Google hates broken links
  10. To get an extra boost in the search engines get some good links by buying directories, adding your business to free directories and linking to your social media.

Just like a shop:

Have a professional and tidy shop front (website)

Choose good people to work in your shop (Social media profiles)

Price up your goods (Label your pages properly)

Network with other businesses (Get good links)

Update your stock so people keep coming back (Update your content)

 

Thinking about things a bit differently or thinking really things haven’t changed at all?

Don’t Take Everything At Numbers Value

I regularly hear that the answer to all sales problems is a website. Do you need to advertise? No-I have a website. Do you need more sales? Yes- but I have my Facebook site. Do people know about your business? Yes- I’m on Twitter.

Don’t be fooled in to thinking that there is a shortcut to getting sales for your business-in fact marketing your business is harder now than it ever was. Well when I say harder I really mean that there are so many marketing options available businesses can think they can substitute effort with numbers and the sales will pour in. Ummmm I didn’t see anyone wave a magic wand-did you?

Here are some typical marketing responses.

People hear from me from Facebook
TRUTH: You may have 633 likes but how many of those people engage with you? 2-3? If you aren’t engaging with people then they WILL NOT see your posts.if you opened a shop and 2-3 people came in to look would that be a good sales day?

I’ve got a website so I don’t need to advertise
TRUTH: Website traffic in some of the worlds largest organisations is declining. Why? Because of social media. Your customers don’t just sit on the internet and think ‘what website shall I look at today’. They go to websites because they’ve been sold the idea. They’ve seen an advert in paper, a Facebook advert, a bus drop poster, a TV ad etc. People do not search for things they don’t want. 90% of people research online before they buy. So do you really know how many people actually go to your website?

I’m number one on Google so I’m the best.
Being number one on Google is not the Holy Grail. Yes it’s good to be on page one but have you looked at your business online lately? Is your competition buying adverts from Google which puts them on top of your business? Are people being tempted away to another site with better reviews? The journey to page one of Google starts with the customer getting an idea that they need something. You’ve still got to work hard when the customer finds you online. What does your website say about your business? Look at it from a customers point of view.

I don’t need to have a social media presence.
‘You don’t have a choice whether or not to do social media. The choice is on how well you do it’
90% of people research online. If you are advertising and have no online presence you are donating your sales to a competitor. It’s as simple as that.

My next blog will be on the buying cycle so please come back and visit soon.

This blog is basic because you don’t need to be technical to be good at it.

Have a great week.

Advertising Cars?

I frequently hear that all car dealers want to do is get people through the door but as a car is one of the most expensive items a person will buy in their lifetimes the decision of which one to buy won’t come easily.

Are people swayed by advertising?

DEFINATELY!

Yes I am an advertising manager so I would say that but it’s more than that.

Soon I am going to be buying my first car!

Yes I am 40

No I haven’t just passed my test.

Sadly my company car will be no more next year and I am forced to make it on my own in the real world.

I’ve been driving for about 10 years now and I have never bought a car, taxed a car or insured a car. The buying part I’m excited about-the rest I want someone else to take care of.

So is buying a car an easy choice?

Well of course not-there’s colour, shape, style, make and cost to consider.

I will have a budget to work to which will cover all mechanical repairs, tax, insurance, MOT and of course the car. And it seems quite a decent amount.

So at 12 months before I’m due to buy a car I’m looking. And I can be influenced RIGHT NOW!

Will my mind change?

What will change my mind?

What will I buy?

It’s June 21st 2014 and I am adamant that I want a BMW 320 in navy blue or black from about 1997. I want to pay around £2,000 for it and I want it to be in good condition with low mileage.

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Already wavering I’ve seen a great deal on Facebook for a BMW 1 series which is only £129 per month on finance but it required a hefty deposit of over £3,000 if I remember rightly. I’ve always thought of the hard top 1 Series that it looks great from the front then at the back it looks like you can’t afford a whole one. So no-this isn’t the right option for me.

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I saw a finance offer for a Lexus too which stopped and made me think ‘Hmmmmm I can afford a Lexus’. I saw that in a magazine but I haven’t seen that offer again so that has gone off my radar.

At the moment in this early stage I am open to being tempted by all cars-well maybe not all cars.

On my definite no list are:

  • Ford KA
  • Mini One
  • Ford Focus

Apart from those models I’m looking at everything.

So will used win or a finance deal for a new car?

I’ll report back every time something changes my mind or I will the lottery. if that happens here’s my choice:

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Well a girl can dream.

 

 

If you don’t ask you don’t get

I bet you’re on Facebook aren’t you? I bet your business has a website doesn’t it? Are you on LinkedIn? Are you on Twitter? Great-so when was the last time you messaged someone and asked for some business or a meeting or a referral? I’ve lost count of the number of people who add me on social media that don’t even say hi. So what’s their purpose? Adding people so their number looks high and they look popular? Possibly Last week I posted a photo of some garden waste and I needed removing from my garden and asked if anyone could give me a price. I got left lots of numbers and names but one company took the time to message me direct and leave a number. So I called him. In a reversed situation a local businessman posted on LinkedIn that he was looking for a company that could manage their Facebook, Twitter and website. So I messaged him to say I could help and what I could offer (Because I knew I wouldn’t be the only person to message him) He replied with his number and the negotiations have begun. I really don’t see the point of being active on Social Media and then just sitting there-ask people for their opinion, look at your competition, get ideas from people, ask if you can work with a business, offer them what they are asking for if your business is in the right field. It’s a buyers and sellers market. Nobody got anywhere by sitting in the shadows did they? There are some great stats on this Infographic. Take the plunge and start connecting with people-if I can help your business in any way ask me. I don’t bite (In the daytime!)

Selling Through Social Media to Close More Leads
Selling Through Social Media to Close More Leads
InsideView

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