Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Managing your website

No matter how detailed your website is, it still needs management.

Staying on top of the search engines is the minimal type of management for an information only site but also applies to all sites. Monitoring your traffic, supplementing your site with up to date and changing information, and ensuring your links stay linked are some ways to stay on top of the search.

If you are collecting email information and providing an email address for customers to contact you with, you should consider your website as department of your business. Data collected needs to be monitored and utilized, whether it is a newsletter to be sent out to email participants or analysis of data for that marketing campaign. Emails and any identifiable customer data collected need to be protected and managed.

If you use the web to sell your product, then consider your online store to be a separate branch of your business; just like any other separate physical location. Your website then needs to be staffed, so that you are prepared to deliver the same superior customer service that you provide at your physical locations. In talking to business owners I often hear stories about websites set up to sell products that went undelivered with sales lost because management wasn't positioned to fill the orders.

Whatever the scope of your website; be sure your company protocols include your website management.     

Monday, December 27, 2010

Have Accessories to Complement Holiday Gifts?

Does your business offer training, classes or accessories to big ticket items given as gifts this holiday season?

Whether you provide computer training for those new iPads or you sell snow plow accessories for that new tractor, now is the time to assist customers with accessorizing their holiday gifts. 

One great way to get your business in front of the customer is to offer an e-coupon. Google has a great way to offer an e-coupon to customers. The coupon can be accessed by computer or those mobile devices that your customers received this holiday season.

Just go to Google Places and follow the instructions to add a coupon.

So help that customer add some thread to that sewing machine or a new cover for that iPad by offering a convenient e-discount.

Monday, December 20, 2010


This is the time of year that all businesses (and individuals too) start to think about purging last year's files, archiving what won't be needed in the future, and creating some new goals for the coming year.

When you start planning for the new year don't forget to include your website. This would be an excellent time to do a site review. Make sure your link and contact information is up to date.

While you are making your business goals, make some goals for your website. Then, by using available analytic software, put those goals into action and test the website to make sure your goals are met.

Whether your site is designed to attract new customers and collect emails for newsletters, or to directly produce sales; you can set goals and experiment with various page designs, wording, and information to insure that your goals are met.      

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Your Varied Customer Base

Keeping an eye on how your diverse customer base interacts with your business online is essential. 

If all your customers own laptops and smart phones and access your site via the most current and updated browser editions, your job is easier than if you have a wide array of customers using all sorts of versions of software and hardware.

Building a site with web compliant coding and verifying that the coding is correct through online sources is the first step toward providing a pleasant visit that accomodates all of your customers.

Providing a site with basic coding that provides information in an informative and attractive way is the next step; although it is tempting to add a touch of flash here and there for the customers who have the ability to correctly access and display this type of contact.

Unfortunately even the big guys can't please all of the people all of the time. With new technologies coming out all of the time; new platforms, web code, browsers, browser versions, hardware, software, web phones;  the list could go on and on; decisions need to be made and limits set.

By keeping an eye on your website stats or using free tools like Google Analytics, you'll be able to tell how your customers are viewing you and if tweaks are possible or necessary.   

Monday, December 13, 2010

Google your business

Periodically you will want to run a series of searches relative to your business in each of the major search engines to find out how your business comes out. At the same time this allows you to monitor any comments that your customers leave on line about your services and products.

Perform a search on your business name, your type of business, and a couple of your top products or services.

The search results can be an eye opening experience and can allow you to nip customer related issues in the bud and turn around an instance of negative perception into superior service.    

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting Your Business on Google Places

Google Places is an excellent place to list your business.

As search engines become better able to serve the local customer up with the offerings in a given area via smart phones and laptops, you will want to make it easier for search engines to find you.

Once you list your business on Google Places, you are provided with tools that monitor number of views, how your business is coming up on the search engines, and if and where your location is being mapped from.

Another great option is the ability to add an online coupon to entice customers to visit your business over another locally. What a great handy feature!

When listing your website don't forget to add a link to your website in your listing for customers who need more information regarding your services or products. 

Reviews of your business can be posted to Google Places. You can also post a Google Places bar code in your physical business. Interested customers with appropriate software on their phone can scan your bar code and have instant access to your web pages.

To stay ahead of the competition, Google Places is definitely a place to be seen. 


Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Posts to your Website

Don't miss out on the opportunity to add some holiday cheer to your website.

Whether it is a whole product page featuring holiday offerings or sales; or an updated post to your business' blog, don't miss the chance to persuade customers to visit your business with some holiday cheer.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Although no password is completely uncrackable, (just ask the U.S. government with all the leaks lately), there are some precautions you can take to make your passwords more secure and more difficult for the crooks.

  1. Don't use names of your children or pets.
  2. Avoid using words at all.
  3. Try changing e's to 3's or i's to 1's
  4. Use some special characters like &, *, ? if possible.
  5. To make things easy for you, yet secure, try memorizing a poem or song. Use only the first letter of each word in the poem as a password.   
Unfortunately there are people with way too much time on their hands ready to take advantage and a strong password is a way to force most of them to move on to the next website.