Scary Marketing Comments and Questions

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in marketing, news, planning, websites

Scary Marketing Comments and Questions

I recently had the opportunity to make a presentation to the Thursday morning Connections Meeting for the North Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. In the spirit of the Halloween season, I decided to pair pictures with ideas to take a humorous look at the challenges of marketing.  The presentation also covers some issues often discussed when talking with business owners. On the lighter side, the presentation pays homage to some Halloween traditions and two great Halloween movies, Young Frankenstein and a local favorite, Night of the Living dead. Enjoy! If you have any questions about the ideas or would like to meet to talk about your marketing plans and activities please contact us by phone at 724-473-5543 online web form We would be delighted to talk with...

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Authenticity

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in communication, marketing, Photography, websites

Do you ever have a conversation and an idea sharpens the focus of you thoughts and lingers in your consciousness? Like a bobber on a fishing line or a weather vane, the idea reminds you to make sure you have your bearings and be sure you understand what is happening. This summer I was part of a panel discussion about building better websites and one of my colleagues raised the issue of authenticity. It was not a new notion to me but sometimes you just hear the right thing at the right time. A few years ago my career changed course; I switched from working in the marketing department of a large multinational firm to working with small businesses. Making sure that my work was authentic in a more diverse and changeable environment is critical to my clients and my business’s success. The word authenticity focused the element of my consciousness that always wanted to make sure the work we did was personalized for each client and their business. Authenticity is not a hugely common or pervasive element of modern society, especially during election years. Moreover, while there are many ethical and honest marketing professionals it is not the first term associated with our industry. Personally, if I think about the purchases I have made and been happy with, much less the things I enjoy or are proud of they are all based on authenticity. Authenticity can apply to many elements of life, both personal and professional. For example, on a personal level I would rather kayak down an Adirondack Lake than go on a beach holiday I love the smell of coffee, I can’t stand its taste and prefer tea or hot chocolate On a professional level it is includes: trying to always use local images instead of stock photography; if I have to use stock photos making sure the photos have a theme and aren’t just appropriate shots for the page’s content. making sure conversations with fellow business people are about more than just getting business. I firmly believe that real growth, personal or professional, comes from authenticity. We seek it and will return for more if we find a source. Though I work in the digital realm I readily admit to an addiction to books, a favorite is Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Just for fun I look to it for inspiration and was surprised they only have one quote for authentic, but it is a good one: But as when an authentic watch is shown, Each man winds up and rectifies his own, So in our judgements –Sir John Suckling,...

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Have you weeded your web site recently?

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in marketing, planning, websites

Much as I enjoy my work, I love to spend time outdoors.  Much to my surprise, gardening has become a favourite past time.   I enjoy being outside, taming the small green space around our house, playing in the dirt, and eating the occasional ice cream cone as a reward. On Sunday, reflecting on progress made outside I thought about the week ahead and my indoor/work goals.  I was a bit surprised to realize how much gardening and web sites have in common. Both need to have the weeds removed, the ground improved, and plants added or moved.  Like my garden, a web site can be useful and beautiful but only if properly tended. Have you weeded your web site recently?  Website information should be reviewed and tweaked as needed.  Weeds in your website can diminish the integrity of your online presence and hurt SEO.  Make sure your website isn’t weedy by regularly taking care of  typos, out-dated information, and comment spam making sure internal links in your site and those going  to external sites are not broken or link to out-dated information Improve the ground!   The soil on our property contains quite a bit clay, so we have spent time improving our soil.   You can do the same for your website: add functionality which will help users obtain the information they need, accomplish a task, or make a purchase update your site’s design to make your site more user-friendly and current Can you add/move material to make things more attractive or useful? Moving plants can make them healthier.  Adding plant material can add colour, habitat for wildlife, or fill a bare spot making your property a place to linger.  Make your web site a place visitors wish to linger and explore by making sure your content is well-organized so visitors can enjoy your site instead of spending time figuring the site out adding new content to educate or enable customer activity highlighting or moving important content or functions that users are not finding or using A well-tended web site: shows users that you are serious, engaged, and have expertise in your chosen field engages users with relevant content and functionality to help them obtain the goods and services needed will be seen as a resource for others and you will garner links and social media shares which will raise your online profile ranks better in search engines which look for relevancy,  currency, links and shares among other factors Cultivate your website so your business can...

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Have you checked your stats?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in analytics, planning, websites

How are your stats? I have been looking for ways to be more active. A friend loaned me their unused Fitbit so I could test it out. It is an interesting little gadget that provides little data nuggets about my activity levels, calories burned, sleep, etc. The Fitbit also allows me to set goals and gives me “badges” when I achieve certain levels of activity. Since it is new to me, I have to admit I check it throughout the day to see how I am doing. In a philosophical moment this little gadget and my interest in data brought me back to web sites… When we build websites for our clients we always include Google Analytics so clients can review their site’s activity. Much like a Fitbit’s data, site analyitcs can help you see how your website is doing.  Some key analytics include: How many visitors are coming to your site? Where are site visitors coming from? How long do people stay on the site? What pages are being viewed, is there any content that is particularly popular? Are users finding the information you think they need to see? Are you calls to action effective; do they read highlighted content, fill out a form, buy something online, or contact you for more information? The great thing about a website is you can change it!  Site analytics can guide the development of your site to make it more attractive and useful to customers.  Looking at your website’s statistics might lead you to: improve SEO/SEM so customers can more easily find your site add more or develop popular content add more images or videos to better engage site visitors improve navigation add calls to action and code them to track conversion points So, have you checked your web stats lately?  What are the goals and changes they suggest to achieve the level of activity needed to help your business...

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