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How to Generate Content That Attracts Decision-Makers

Posted Wed, January 15, 2014 by Julie Short


Far too many small and medium-sized businesses treat content marketing as something they simply have to do, or an item that they need to check off a list. If you ask the business owners or marketing executives in question why, they might tell you something about search engine optimization or engagement, but the truth is they really don't have a strategy tied to the articles, blog posts, and other content they create.

That's probably better than not generating any content at all, but it isn't the kind of approach that's going to do a lot for your business, either. A better way to think about content marketing is to develop a strategy to attract decision-makers to your business website, interest them in your point of view, and then get them to take action.

Here are eight easy tips to help you do exactly that:

1. Build your content as part of a plan. Magazines, major websites, and newsletter publishers all plan their content weeks or months in advance to ensure they remain consistent and stay on topic. You should do the same.

2. Use cutting titles. Did you notice how the title of this article cut right to the heart of an issue that a lot of business owners and executives care about? Open your content with something that's interesting, timely, or inspires curiosity.

3. Start with an attention-grabbing hook. If the first few seconds’ worth of your content aren't interesting (usually the first paragraph of an article, or the opening moments of the video), you can be sure viewers and readers will click elsewhere.

4. Do your research. You can add a lot of credibility to your content by taking advantage of current statistics, relevant quotes, or new studies.

5. Find the right length. Your content should feel like it’s short, sweet, and to the point – even if you need longer to explore a topic. Break something up into different sections, or a series, if you need to in order to stop things from going on too long.

6. Give a strong call to action. After someone has viewed regular content, make it clear what you would like them to do as a result. Decision-makers are busy people; don't leave them guessing about what comes next.

7. Don't gloss over your resource box. Often, readers or viewers will look at a resource box before your content to see whether they can trust your ideas. Make sure your most prominent qualifications are listed.

8. Pay attention to the comments that are generated. Sometimes, the real value in a piece of content is in the comments it generates. The feedback you get could lead to sales opportunities, or at least ideas for more content in the future.

Here's one more bonus tip: Content works best when it's released continually, so put these tips into action early and often to get the best results.

Looking for an Internet marketing partner that understands how to create profitable websites? Get in touch with WebRevelation today to see what we can do for you.

 

Posted in : Website Content | 
Tags : marketing , content


Turning Social Media Blunders Into Marketing Opportunities

Posted Wed, January 8, 2014 by Julie Short

In some ways, social media can be a wonderful tool for marketers and business owners everywhere. After all, if you have a healthy following on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, you have a virtually free, instant way to communicate ideas to your fans, customers, and colleagues all at once.

And then again, you also have a way to say the wrong thing to all of these groups at the same time… not to mention anyone they decide to pass it along to.

We already know you aren't the kind of person to post something you shouldn't on the Internet, and especially not in a space as public as a social media site. But, what happens when an intern or employee does it for you? Or when something you meant to be private ends up being seen by people it shouldn't be? What about when something you posted is taken in a completely unintentional way and offends an important customer?

You probably get the point. The more you use social media marketing, the more likely it is that you're going to run into one of these situations sooner or later. When you strip away things like body language and context, misunderstandings are almost certain to take place.

What matters isn't that you find a way to avoid every social media marketing mishap, but that you know how to respond to it. Here is how we teach our clients to turn social networking blunders into marketing and customer service opportunities:

Don't bury your head in the sand. When someone calls you out on social media, staying silent is essentially the same thing as saying that you just don't care. Even if that's actually true, remember that other customers, prospects, and contacts might be paying attention, and you certainly don't want to offend them at the same time. So, make a point of following up on messages and responding to issues and complaints that come your way.

Apologize if you need to. As most of us learn at one point or another, the important thing about an apology isn't that it's spoken or written, but that it appears to be genuine. If you're struggling to come up with a sentiment that will appease the other party, try to see things from their point of view. If it seems like you might have written a post on something that you shouldn't have, say you're sorry in a heartfelt way.

Get back on message. Acknowledging a problem, and apologizing, are one thing, but dwelling on the issue is another. Unless there’s some reason for you to come back to the same challenge, clear things up and then get back to other topics that matter to your readers and contact.

Don't give up. Some businesses, in the face of a social media "oops," decide to either stop posting altogether, or to turn their profiles into sources of very generic content. Neither is a very good choice if you want to keep attracting the attention of new customers and get them talking about your ideas. We learn the most from our mistakes, so don't be afraid to keep pushing forward and posting new material.

If you're looking for more great advice on web design, Internet marketing, and social media, come back to our blog soon. Or better yet, get in touch with a member of our team today and ask for a free consultation.

 

Posted in : Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : social media , marketing


Is Your Business Website Singing Google's New Tune?

Posted Wed, January 1, 2014 by Julie Short

In late September, Google rolled out its latest major algorithm update – nicknamed "Hummingbird" – which might just bring the biggest-ever shifts to search engine optimization.

If that seems like an overstatement, we understand. The previous "Panda" and "Penguin" algorithm updates generated a lot of press, and most businesses quickly discovered that the sky really wasn't falling, regardless of what they might have read on Internet marketing forums. And yet, a little bit of context is in order. While Panda and Penguin affected 5% of searches each, at most, early studies show that Hummingbird has changed results on more than 90% of all search queries.

Beyond the raw numbers, Hummingbird isn't just another algorithm change, but the first real step toward a new way of thinking about search results. It's not so much an update as it is a shift in philosophy. Whereas Google and the other search engines use to consider different terms independently, and then try to find good matches for them within indexed web pages, the focus now is on understanding the intent behind the search string.

In other words, Google is no longer satisfied to show you results for the exact phrase you are looking for… instead, it wants to anticipate the answers and information you need, and deliver those as quickly and accurately as possible.

For searchers, this means more precision and a heavy dose of common sense. For marketers and business owners, it means singing to Google's new tune if you want to continue to see traffic flow to your site.

Here are a few steps you can take to get started:

Stop worrying about traditional search engine optimization techniques. Because Google is adopting a contextual approach to determining search results, things like keyword density and inbound link volume no longer matter in the way they used to. The focus is on high-quality content from here on out, not simple statistics.

Focus on visitor engagement. One of the ways that Google figures out which pages are "better" than others, in the absence of strict keyword-matching, is by looking at the way visitors behave on the site. If they spend a lot of time, click through to other links, or comment on it in their social profiles, it's going to gain more credibility – and see more search traffic. Build your content accordingly.

Organize your content for readers and viewers. Beyond coming up with great content, it's important that you organize it in a way that's easy for readers to find, scan, and search. The old rules of "one topic per page" don't necessarily have to apply, especially since you're not trying to divide keywords between one page or section and another.

Keep the great content coming. With Hummingbird in place, the best content is fresh, unique, and interesting to readers. So, even though you might not need as many keywords as you did before, you do still need lots of timely and relevant articles and blog posts.

Looking for creative ideas and experienced Internet marketing advice? Get in touch with WebRevelation today and see what our team of experts can do for you.

 

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : SEM , content


Why You Might Not Want Off-The-Shelf E-commerce Packages

Posted Wed, December 25, 2013 by Julie Short

You don't have to look very far these days to find an e-commerce platform that claims to do everything you need and more, right off the shelf. But, despite their high prices and impressive feature list, most will require some degree of customization and specialty programming (and possibly a lot of it) before they'll work predictably on your e-commerce site, much less give you the features you thought you were paying for.

In other words, there are a number of reasons you might not want an off-the-shelf e-commerce package, and certainly not to invest in one without the help of a custom e-commerce programming team on your side.

In fact, when you work with online retailing experts for your e-commerce package, you gain a number of advantages that you can’t get with off-the-shelf systems, such as:

E-commerce platforms built just for you. Not only do off-the-shelf e-commerce platforms often have to be customized, but they may also have features or functions you don't want or need. Extra functionality might sound like a good thing, until you realize that the extraneous code can cause lots of problems, contain pieces that hackers can exploit, and even crash your online store.

Advanced marketing capabilities structured around your campaigns. Do you have some online marketing features that are especially important to your online store? Why not have an e-commerce platform that is built around those, rather than generic e-commerce campaigns?

Automated order processing and fulfillment solutions. Depending on how you source or manufacture your products, automated order processing and fulfillment could save you tens of thousands of dollars each year, and allow for faster, more reliable delivery to customers.

Specialized pricing and discount controls. Many e-commerce platforms only allow set pricing schedules and tax calculations. With a custom (or customized) platform, however, you can set prices anyway you wish.

Detailed e-commerce reports. Although most standard e-commerce platforms do a good job of generating reports, your customized package can make the process of generating the ones you need faster.

Dedicated e-commerce support. This is perhaps the biggest benefit. Anyone who has tried to find specialized answers from their e-commerce package provider already knows how frustrating it can be to wait while the problem or issue costs you money every hour. With a customized e-commerce package, support is never farther away than your dedicated e-commerce development team.

A lot of e-commerce platform developers want you to think that you're getting a great deal, and an all-in-one solution, by buying their ready-made product. But, as lots of entrepreneurs and online store owners have found, you almost always end up paying for custom programming customization one way or another. Why not have the right team on your side from the start, helping you to choose the package and/or features that fit your needs?

Call WebRevelation today at 817-283-3324 to see why we've become your top choice for e-commerce design and support.
WebRevelation today and let us show you how we use specialized programming and design to help our clients sell more while keeping costs low.

Posted in : Websites | 
Tags : websites , e commerce


Do You Need a Custom Online Ordering Solution

Posted Wed, December 18, 2013 by Julie Short

As e-commerce has grown, and gotten more competitive, a lot of different platforms and payment gateways have come to the market. But, for online retailers who need the very best, custom online ordering solutions are often the most convenient, not to mention the most cost-effective.

What makes custom online ordering solutions better for e-commerce? Here are just a few of the key benefits:

Custom online ordering solutions are faster. Faster carts and payment processing mean fewer abandoned sales. That's especially true if you have a complicated checkout procedure that could otherwise stall or confuse buyers.

You get more reliable carts and payment processing. Even worse than slow payment processing is an unreliable platform that makes buyers feel like your online store isn't safe and stable. Having your online ordering offline costs you money each and every minute, so you need a reliable answer.

Custom ordering solutions can lower your e-commerce costs. In the end, so much of e-commerce comes down to efficiency. That is, if you can handle more orders with lower per-transaction costs, you can instantly increase the profitability of your online store (and maintain that advantage over time).

Your online store gets automatic integrated inventory control. With custom online ordering, you can tie transactions to inventory, meaning better real-time information availability and fewer chargebacks.

You can take advantage of advanced shipping features. For some online retailers, shipping and fulfillment can be complicated because of multiple distribution centers or unusually packaged or weighted objects. With custom online ordering, you can build in the functionality you need.

Your e-commerce site can use special pricing models. In the same way, if you have a highly segmented customer base, or an unusual pricing structure, you might want custom controls to ensure that buyers are being charged the right amount.

Custom online ordering solutions could offer better e-commerce security. Security is a big concern for both online retailers and their customers. With custom online ordering solutions, you can make every transaction as secure as possible.

Think your online store could be more profitable with custom online ordering solutions? Talk to WebRevelation today and let us show you how we use specialized programming and design to help our clients sell more while keeping costs low.

Posted in : Websites | 
Tags : websites , ordering solutions


What Technology, Logistics, and an Eye For Details Mean to Oil and Gas Producers

Posted Wed, December 11, 2013 by Julie Short

These days, lots of businesses like to talk about technology and logistics, especially when it comes to the oil and gas industry. When it comes down to it, though, these are just buzzwords – they are the difference between successfully turning a profit from one quarter to the next and being out of business altogether because you can keep an eye of the details.

Here at WebRevelation, that's something we've seen firsthand. In working with oil and gas producers, suppliers, and distributors all these years, we have learned how to put the pieces of a successful technology plan together in a commonsense, cost-effective way. In other words, we've learned how to help our clients do the most with the least, and boost their bottom-line results in the process.

Here are just a few of the ways oil and gas companies can utilize new technology to run smarter, more efficient businesses:

Through improved inventory control. Need to know what you have, where you have it, and what condition it's in? Most oil and gas operators do, which is why inventory control is such an integral part of their technology plan.

By keeping a close eye on costs and financials. Because market prices can change on a dime, and suppliers can shift terms at a moment’s notice, having one eye on the bottom line – and one finger on your pricing controls – is a must in today's oil and gas industry.

Through scheduling and project management. Smart scheduling and project management let you meet deadlines, keep costs low, and ensure that your whole operation moves forward smoothly.

With reliable mobile communications. Voice, video, and file-sharing systems let entire organizations stay in touch, even with multiple locations or vendors located around the globe.

By watching real-time shipping and logistics. You don't have time for missing equipment or incomplete answers. That's why real-time shipment tracking and logistical information can make such a powerful difference on your company's bottom-line performance.

With detailed, customized reports. When you need to spot important patterns and trends, or make sure that you're coming to the right conclusions, there is no substitute for having accurate, instantly customizable reports.

Worried that your oil and gas company isn't making the most of available technology? Talk to a member of the WebRevelation team today and let us show you what we've been able to do for other businesses like yours.

Posted in : Business Strategy | 
Tags : Gas and Oil , technology


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