6 Random Rules for Owning a Website

Your Website Tips & Tricks:

  1. Own your domain name: Domains are cheap and even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re better off to own your domain name and have someone else manage it. Note: make sure you alone have access to the “password change” email to ensure you cannot be denied access to the domain (if you need to quickly switch web folks for whatever reason).
  2. Own your web hosting account: Same rational as mentioned above. You absolutely need full control and access to your hosting account… you might give someone a spare key to your home, but you still need to be able to change the locks!
  3. Use a large, well known, web hosting provider like GoDaddy: I learned this lesson about 10 years ago when I had a hosting account with an unknown, but very cost effective, hosting provider. They actually served my needs well for years and, without warning, my sites went down one day and the message boards were lit up with angry customers who lost their data and were struggling to get back online. I was fortunate to have owned my domain name so I could quickly switch to a new hosting provider and get my sites up quickly. I’ve been with GoDaddy ever since and, while I’ll admit that their UI (user interface) is cumbersome and confusing, I give them major kudos for their 24/7 tech support which is always prompt. Anyone you might hire to build or maintain your site can certainly work through GoDaddy or any other large provider. Let them gripe about it, I also advise against using small or unknown hosting providers and I highly recommend not using your “web service person” for hosting services.
  4. Advertising tip: If you’re a plumber – phone book and basic website… if you’re a bar, drop the phone book and build a website that rocks. Then go crazy with social networking!
  5. Blog “off your site:” using WordPress or Blogger (for example) you will increase your name & business ranking in Google because blogs show up higher in search results and as an added bonus your blog will now get marketed by the host you’re using (WordPress, Blogger or whomever) through all the other blogs as “related articles,” popular tags, etc. You will also link heavily from your blog to your main site helping to build your linking credibility.
  6. Avoid an “all flash” website and big flash introduction: Although flash sites are now “searchable” most are not up to date and therefore may not be searchable which (as a small biz owner) should send you running. Flash won’t show up on many mobile devices, will take too long to load and many flash sites are often filled with unnecessary distractions such as sound effects, transitions, etc. Unless you are also running an identical mobile site, have an amazing product selection that requires an all flash, you’re a flash designer or you’re really really really confident I’m wrong… avoid the “all flash” website. I’m not saying don’t use flash components, when utilized properly flash can be an amazing asset for your site! If you have an all flash site, see the previous tip!

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-Richard

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“New Marketing” Tips 1- 6

Tips 1 through 6 in my “New Marketing” tips list for small businesses online. From changing your cell phone to finding interns these tips will help you keep it simple for cheap. While there are many services out there that perform same or similar services for free as well, these are my suggestions based on my own experiences.

1.Upgrade your Cell phone: When you have the right tools, everything is that much easier. You will be more inclined to follow up and follow through if you make email and web access as easy as possible. Get a Smartphone! Here your basically looking for accessible email, but as you get swept away with online marketing tools you may quickly find yourself taking / uploading photos and video or checking different websites and web statistics that mandate smart phone use. Cell phones that can do what you’ll need them to do, plus some, are available to you for around $100 bucks on Craigslist.com without a contract! You may also qualify for one through your carrier at a discount with a contract. I would look for a phone with a camera, a qwerty keyboard (purely subjective), internet access, POP3 email access and camcorder. Some great used phones that will work well for your social marketing purposes are the Motorola Q, Treo 650 or above, Blackberry Pearl or other Blackberry multimedia models and the iPhone. Please don’t’ think you’re limited to these; there are many other capable phones out there.

2.Get a Gmail account (the next slew of points refer to all Google apps / tools, but please note that similar services are also available elsewhere via Yahoo.com, for example).

3.Set Google alerts in Gmail: Setting up Google alerts for your business name, your name, your employee names, your competitors’ names and your supplier / area or important product names to keep tabs on what people are saying about you or for news you may need to know. Google alerts will regularly search the web, alerting you to key information as it hits the web. More importantly, news you can use to market or better connect with your customers.

4.Google Calendar: Share a Google calendar, mark your daily special & weekend events or anything else notable and encourage your customers as well as your employees to “share” your calendar. Make sure you keep it up to date! Google calendar modules can also be incorporated into your website and other’s websites fairly easily so also encourage others to embed your calendar into their website.

5.Use Youtube: Create Videos and Other Content! Search the web for examples of what other businesses are doing to create marketing or informational videos for their sites. Use youtube.com to host your video, it’s your most reliable distributor and the cost is perfect! There are many so many ways to embed your video and share it and, even more importantly, by using youtube you make it easier for “the masses” to stumble across your videos.

6.Multimedia Marketing Interns: Bring on an intern or two to work on marketing your business via the web and through multimedia projects. You should provide a computer, a video camera (rental or purchased) and a list of projects with expectations. Also schedule weekly meetings with your interns for updates exactly what they’re doing, make sure you have access to all sites (including passwords and usernames) and make sure you are very clear as to what is acceptable and what is not. While this will take some time and coordination it could pay off big for your business.

For tips #7 -14 click here

If you found this, or any of our articles useful please connect with me on Linkedin, recommendations referring to this site are greatly appreciated! To view my Linkedin profile visit: www.Linkedin.com/in/richardbouchez send me an invite using this email Richard@RABpromo.com. Please mention InovediaMarketing.com in your connection request.

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“New Marketing” Tips 7 – 14

Reminder: These are based strictly on cost effectiveness and in the spirit of simplicity. While there are many services out there that perform same or similar services for free as well, these are my suggestions based on my own experiences.

7. Community Calendars: With just a little searching you will quickly find free community calendars available around the web. These are often found on local websites in your community including sites of local newspapers, chambers of commerce, television stations, churches, etc. Create a list and update each frequently with specials, announcements and events. Not only will you get out in front of potential customers for free, you will be found in searches more often.
8. On Your Site Advertising: Create a couple advertising opportunities on your own website, perhaps in a sidebar or other strategic locations within your menu of services.These ad spaces can be utilized for leverage in your co-op dealings, used as trade opportunities for advertising or discounts on products / services. Another possibility could be offering ad space as part of a customer loyalty reward program or even selling them for a little extra cash!
9. Use Craigslist and Ebay to sell products, used equipment, etc.You may also consider using craigslist to look for an “at home marketer” or to search for internet savvy interns.
10. Coupons: Create unique coupons that are printable / downloadable from your website, but don’t expect them to suddenly drive droves of customers into your shop. Use them as “information purchasing power” to get information from your customers and potential clients. Businesses that regularly offer customers deep discounts train customers to wait for the next set of discounts.Offer coupons that are good enough to persuade potential customers to give over their email and other information, not so good that they will interrupt business.This will open the door for you to communicate with customers directly! Coupons and contesting can be a cost effective way to stay in front of your customers, but don’t get carried away or take advantage because once they add you to their “spam” list you’ve closed a door you may not be able to open.
11. Occasional Contesting: Don’t give away t-shirts give away an iphone. That is to say, do something cool and different that relates to your business. Unfortunately, there is already an abundance of crappy t-shirts in virtually everyone’s closet but who wouldn’t trade their email for a shot at a free iphone? While this may sound like a very expensive proposition, it doesn’t have to be! I suggest purchasing a gift card with the current purchasing price of an iphone (199) plus a couple months of service cost. This means you could launch a very cool contest for around $500 that will create some buzz for your business and give a big boost to your new robust email address list. Digital cameras and video cameras also make great prizes that are cooler than t-shirts for around a couple hundred bucks and are sure to get noticed. *Please research contesting or contact a lawyer before running contests as there state and federal laws to comply with as well as legal-ease to contend with that I am not addressing in this post.
12. Social Networking (and Professional): I’m not going to launch into a big thing on how you should be using Facebook and Linkedin.com and many of the other social networks for your business, I think I’ll leave that for another article but… you should. These sites will drive your name & company name to the top of search lists for free. More importantly, when used strategically, you can get real information, connect and strengthen your relationships with higher quality customers and even develop a following!
13. Email Blasts: With your newly found following on the different social networks combined with all of those emails you’ve been collecting from couponing and contesting, you are now ready to send email blasts alerting potential customers of your new services and reminding existing customers about your product offerings! Keep email blasts short and to the point with few, if any, graphics and most of all be as relevant as possible. *Please research email blasts before sending to keep from being caught in spam filters and to comply with spamming laws.
14. Blog: To the “not so web savvy” there is still somewhat of a mass negative connotation for blogging.Some initial reactions may be “I’m not a writer,” “I don’t have time” and “What would I blog about?” Well, you’ve just read numerous ideas that you should begin adopting for your business, all with good potential to raise your online profile and profitability… start putting some of these ideas into action and blog about what you’re doing or simply talk about what’s coming up at your business, why you have made certain business decisions or how happy you are that big shipment many of your customers are waiting for has finally arrived! I assure you that you will be surprised at how much there it to say and how many folks are interested! Whatever your business is, there are certainly many topics to discuss and many motivations for blogging.At first I began blogging to add content to my portfolio site, now I blog to market myself to new clients. If you’re interested in Blogging, here are some “must read” tips on creating killer content by Chris Brogan.

For tips #1-6 click here

If you found this, or any of our articles useful please connect with me on Linkedin, recommendations referring to this site are greatly appreciated! To view my Linkedin profile visit: www.Linkedin.com/in/richardbouchez send me an invite using this email Richard@RABpromo.com. Please mention InovediaMarketing.com in your connection request.

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-Richard

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