As usual, we've jam-packed our newsletter with useful and inspiring stuff just for you. But first, an update: The Factory has been busier than a mall on payday weekend. Althia's return from maternity leave almost had the boss shedding tears of joy and couldn't have come at a better time. Lani geared up with a brand new Nikon D700 - said to be the best in the business – taking our photography to a whole new level. Marius spent 36 hours helping out our local paramedics over Easter. We're really proud of his community spirit, even if he did oversleep on the first day back at work. We also gained a new team member: Bert the Nerd. He's a quiet sort of guy (which is what all good mascots should be) but he has loads of personality. He's waiting to meet you here.
Sweet Ideas [heads up]
Until about 2002, websites were little more than online billboards or glorified Yellow Pages entries. These static sites could only be updated by web developers, making them painstaking and expensive to maintain. The Content Management System revolution changed all that. It's now possible to easily update and manage your own site, which makes it a very powerful way to grow your business.
Websites have become business tools just like fax machines and PCs. But if you aren't working it, it's not working for you. You wouldn't expect your office printer to produce documents if it was unplugged. Your website can build your brand, generate leads, make sales and give you strategic feedback, but only if you operate it like the business machine that it is.
Remember the SEO tips in our March Newsletter? Here are some more simple tweaks that will make your site more effective:
#1 - Introduce Yourself
Your "About Us" page is more important than you think. Consumers want to know who you are, where you come from and where you're headed. They want to know that there are real people behind your online presence and that you have a story to tell. Steve Strauss, US Today business columnist, believes that "your About page is your online version of a firm handshake and a look in the eye." Credibility is an essential part of any effective website and this is an easy, simple way to create that.
#2 - Be Approachable
The internet, just like advertising, is not about broadcasting one-way messages anymore. It's about interaction and connection. Blogs and other social media platforms (like Facebook) allow dialogue and linking them to your website lets people know your door is open. Including questions in your posts and inviting users to vote in polls are both great ways to encourage conversation. Interaction also builds your credibility and gives you priceless feedback.
#3 - Be Presentable
Your website is a direct reflection of your standards and values. Broken links, missing pages and spelling mistakes make you seem sloppy and careless. And everyone knows that we all do judge a book by its cover and that you don't get a second chance at making a first impression. Bad design can destroy your business.
#4 - Speak Clearly
If you want to engage people through your website, you need to give them something to do. Whether you want users to sign up for your newsletter, comment on your blog post, or buy your product, your call to action must be confident and clear. On every page!
Jam Sandwich [fresh take-aways]
Awesome, effective websites make the virtual world a better place. So drop us a line if you'd like an absolutely free, no-strings evaluation of yours.
We're so serious about the importance of social media for business, that we'll put you in the running for a free, professionally designed Facebook profile if you give us a "Like" on our facebook page. The winner will be randomly selected and notified by email. Look out for the end result in our next newsletter.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat” Sun Tzu (544 BC – 496 BC, Chinese Military Leader & Author of "The Art of War")
Jam Jar [showing off]
Here are some of our latest sweet ideas:
Remember the whole Social Media thing… Like us. Join us. Follow us. Tweet us.
Oh, and remember to check out Bert the Nerd's new gig on our homepage!