Eleven Tips for Optimizing PDFs

There are many reasons for the prevalence of PDFs on a website. There is nothing wrong with using PDFs on a website. They is to make sure they are searchable. Read on to learn more.


Facebook Rules for Businesses

Are you investing time and energy in a Facebook presence for your business or organization?  Keeping up with Facebook's requirements can be a challenge. Facebook has relaxed some of its restrictions on cover photos. >>Read more


Do I really need a ?

Claudia Moder, Project Manager
engage CMS team

vcrTechnology. It's hard to keep up sometimes, isn't it?  When I was a kid in the 1980s, I remember one year when my parents bought a microwave oven, a new television, and a VCR in the same week and it nearly put them over the edge. That VCR flashed 12:00 for the better part of a decade. It was just too much all at once, I think.  Then later we added a Nintendo game system and felt like we had as much technology as we could possibly handle.

Today, many of us have a tiny computer right in our pockets - a smartphone.  If you've got a smartphone, then you've probably heard you need applications (AKA "apps"). But which ones?  It can be hard to filter out the noise. Some apps are just for fun (my daughter plays "Fruit Ninja" on my phone) while others are more useful. I use an app from SparkPeople for tracking nutrition and fitness. The list goes on and on.

Not unlike your smartphone, websites often offer many options as well.  Some may enhance your site and others might just be the equivalent of a phone app that lets you insert an image of a squirrel into all of your photos (this app actually existed!)

Social Media: Ignore social media ("it's just a fad") at your own peril. However, if you decide to jump in, do it carefully.  Connecting to your audience via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn can go a long way in enhancing your presence with the folks you are most interested in reaching. I often recommend to clients that they start with one social media outlet, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Confirm that you (realistically) have time to post on Facebook (or whichever tool you choose to start). Poke around and see how your competitors are using the same tool.  What do you have to offer?  For many types of businesses, it can be challenge to get folks to "like" your Facebook page. I'm thrifty, so I'm more inclined to like a page if I think I might be notified of a sale. I also use Facebook to find out about special events and fun places I can take my daughter.

Facebook is fairly user-friendly, but Twitter can feel like a foreign land to people just starting to dabble with it.  The Twitter universe is noisy (there were over 24 million Super Bowl-related tweets during the game, for example) and it can be a challenge to find your voice there.  The good news is that if you'd like to give Facebook and Twitter a try, tools like HootSuite make it possible for you to post once and have it appear on both sites.

If you've got photos to share, Pinterest has gotten very popular and may be worth your time investment as well.  Social media opportunities are endless; just don't bite off more than you can chew. People will notice if you don't provide updates.

Blog: I regularly work with clients who tell me, "I've heard I need a blog for my site."  A blog is an excellent tool for keeping your website current, allowing you to share news in a somewhat more casual way.  Plus, it gives your audience an opportunity to respond and post comments. Much like the social media outlets, however, it comes down to whether your schedule will allow for regular updates.

eNewsletter: Gone are the days when you could send out an email to hundreds of people and hope to reach them. Spam filters typically block mass emails. Companies like Constant Contact have made this task much easier, however. Email Marketing companies allow you to maintain a database of subscribers (people who voluntarily sign up for your newsletter) and to send out periodic email blasts to them.  For most businesses, this is an invaluable tool.  If you don't think you have time (or enough content) for a monthly newsletter, stick with a quarterly edition. I have been known to unsubscribe from newsletters that send out correspondence TOO frequently. Just make sure your content has value to your subscribers, even if you include something seemingly innocuous like a recipe or a list of free tips.

When it comes to your website, avoid throwing in "everything but the kitchen sink."  When you are ready to add some bells and whistles, do your research and make some careful decisions. Don't buy the microwave, the VCR, and the TV all in one week.  Most importantly, listen to your customers and understand why they are on your website. It doesn't take much to annoy a site visitor, so proceed with caution.


10 Lessons About Enterprise SEO

When it comes to SEO, we've all learned that there is no magic formula that will propel your site to the top of the search engines.  However, experts do have an idea of what works and what doesn't.  Check out this article for the full scoop.


6 Ways to Wake Up Your Website

You're working hard to grow your business. Is your website doing its part to help? Here are a few ideas to give your site a kick-start and help it contribute to your success.

Site Purpose

Businesses use their website for many reasons. Maybe it's simply an online brochure to explain to your audience what you do. A site can do so much more. A simple site with user-friendly navigation and organized content can help reinforce your brand online, reduce your customer service costs and illustrate why you are so much better than your competitors. Through the combination of compelling visuals and text, you can make simple, profound statements that have a lasting effect on your viewers. The most successful sites are those that continually have return visitors. Think about how you can give your site meaning, show-off your abilities and get continual reaction from your viewers.

Call-To-Action

Take a good, hard look at your website. Is it obvious what you want your website visitor to do? You've only got a few seconds to pull your visitors 'into' your site. Get rid of the clutter and urge your viewers to check out online samples, read case studies which prove your abilities, see what your happy clients have to say about working with you and get to know the team. Once you have your viewer's attention, make it obvious what you want them to do. Always encourage feedback by using demand driven statements such as - give us a call, contact us for a free quote or buy now.

Landing Pages

You should assume that any page of your website might be the page that your viewer lands on. Creating pages that load fast and appeal to a specific audience will allow you to tailor visual and text content to a specific industry or type of visitor. What are the problem areas that you can help that viewer solve? Speak their business language and lead them to the solution that is specific to them. Additionally, domain names based on popular keyword phrases, or industry specific terms, can be registered and pointed at these specially designed pages to increase traffic through search engine optimization.

Fresh Content

How long has it been since you've added or changed your website content? The search engines will rank your website higher and visitors will continually return if your text is always new, timely and fresh. Better yet, continually add video, new pages, blog posts and instructional content with free, valuable information. Or, try an online survey and ask for reviews related to a product or service you have launched. You're the expert on your business. Write in a personal tone to prove you're an industry leader and let your site viewers have a better understanding of your personality. People buy from people they like and respect.

Search Engine Friendliness

A keyword audit is essential when building a website and throughout your site maintenance. You've got to know which keyword combinations are being searched for on a regular basis. The best keyword phrases are those that have a high search frequency and low competition. These keyword combinations should be tailored per-page and populated throughout your site. Specific areas that should include these keyword phrases include page titles, descriptions and headings. Text content should reinforce these keywords and included the same terms in bold. Also link these keyword phrases to other relevant website content.

Social Media Marketing

The tools are out there to tweet, pin and post. The trick behind all of these methods is to utilize them to link back to your website to view fresh, valuable content. Create a plan that includes new website content and announce through the social media outlet(s) that will gain you the most exposure. Every session is an impression that will keep you at your audience's top-of-mind. Even if they're not ready to buy today, you'll be the first they remember when they're in the market for you type of product or service.


SEO Myths

The world of SEO can be a complex one.  Is your understanding of SEO out of date? Check out this article dispelling some common SEO myths.


How Even Boring Industries Can Create Interesting Content

According to a survey from Corporate Visions via MarketingProfs, 37% of B2B marketers cite content that's neither provocative nor engaging as a barrier to successful demand generation campaigns. MORE


How Small Business Wins In A Socially Connected World

Gail Goodman is the CEO of Constant Contact, a leading provider of email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, local deals, and online survey tools for more than half a million small organizations. Read more


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