Tag: websites

3 Tips to Convert Leads into Sales

You’ve got a great website, you’re blogging and using social media to drive people to your website – you’re generating leads. Now, how do you convert those leads into sales?

In this video, Kate McShea shared 3 tips to help you convert leads into sales:

  1. Make sure your marketing is congruent. If you promise something in a social media post, then the link should go to that product or service – a landing page specifically for that item.
  2. Tell your prospects what you want them to do – that’s a call-to-action. Make it easy for people to give you their contact information, at least their email address. Don’t ask for too much because people won’t fill out a long form to get a freebie.
  3. Follow-up! They downloaded your freebie, that converted them from a visitor to a warm lead. They’re interested. Send them a follow-up email. Call them if you have their phone number.

This graphic from SCORE partner, Infusionsoft, explains the new “conversion funnel”.

3 tips to convert leads into sales

If you need to run your marketing ideas by a pro, a SCORE mentor can help! Click here to schedule a free mentoring sessions with someone who’s been there and done that!

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What is the domain aftermarket and how can it help your business?

What is the domain aftermarket and how can it help your business?

Have you ever struggled to find a domain name for your business’s website, or settled on a domain name you are not quite satisfied with? Do you want a name that can pass the radio test — when someone hears your domain name in a 10-second radio spot and actually remembers how to get to your website?

If you’re looking for a domain name for a new business or an upgrade that is short, memorable and brandable, consider checking out the aftermarket for domain names.

The aftermarket is broad term encompassing all sales of domains that are already owned by someone who is interested in selling their domain name to someone else. This can be through a place like eBay or GoDaddy Auctions. There are literally millions of great domains, many of which will never be back on the traditional market and can only be purchased in an aftermarket.

These names will likely cost more than a normal domain registration price. Why? In general, they’re more valuable. You’ve probably read about some domain name selling for millions of dollars, but the truth is most sell in the hundreds to couple thousand dollar range — an investment you can easily offset with the additional sales and exposure a great domain name offers your business.

Let’s say you own a notary service in New Jersey with the domain, TomsNotaryServices.net. You see the domain, NjNotary.com, for sale on the aftermarket for $1,400. Think how much more memorable that domain would be on your ads, business cards, even the side of your company van. And you could easily recoup its cost with new and retained business in a year. Then, by next year when the domain renewal is only about $15, you’ll continue to realize even more profit from the name.

That’s good business.

How does the name help you, exactly? Well, in more ways than I have space for here. A lot of business is word of mouth, and it’s easy for people to recommend you if they can remember your website address. NjNotary.com is easier for someone in New Jersey to remember than TomsNotaryServices.net. If you get one more referral a month because someone remembers your domain name, what is that worth to you?

A strong domain name also gives an air of authority. When people hear the name “NjNotary” or see it in a list of search engine results for “notary service in NJ,” it will stand out.

The aftermarket is chock full of domains that are memorable, brandable, descriptive and affordable. If you’re looking for a high-quality domain name to build a real business on, check the aftermarket in addition to the primary market. You might be surprised at what you are able to find there and what having an excellent domain name can do for your business.

By Joe Styler for GoDaddy

About the author:

Joe StylerJoe Styler serves as product manager for the aftermarket at GoDaddy. He’s responsible for marketplace products including any purchase, sale, or monetization of a domain name. During his nine-year tenure at GoDaddy Joe has served in a variety of directorial and supervisory roles. His passion is seeing his customers become successful in their business goals when using the aftermarket. He has been interested helping people with transactions on the Internet for more than 20 years. Joe received his B.A. from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and his Masters in Divinity from Gordon Conwell in Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc

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Color theory 101 for website design 28 Sep

Color Theory 101 for Website Design

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way — things I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

What artist Georgia O’Keeffe found in the power of color is something we still find true in website design today. Think about when you scroll through your Facebook feed — what stands out to you the most? Chances are it’s the visuals like photographs and infographics that grab your gaze with their striking hues.

If you’re designing a website for your business, you’ll need to know the basics of choosing a visually appealing color palette.

Getting down to the basics

To help you use color scheme to your advantage with your own website design, we’re going to go over the basics of color theory:

Primary colors

You probably have some vague memory of learning the primary colors as a kid (red, yellow and blue). They’re the building blocks of color theory, and you can mix them together to form all of the other colors on the color wheel.

Secondary colors

Secondary colors are those created by mixing primary colors. The secondary colors are green (yellow+blue), violet (blue+red) and orange (yellow+red).

Tertiary colors

Next up are tertiary colors, which are created when you combine a secondary color and a primary color (like teal, or blue-green).

Color wheel to help select website design colors. Fleshing out your color palette

If you’ve taken a trip down the paint aisle at your local Home Depot, you know there are a LOT more hues than the 12 present on the color wheel. How do we create all of those other colors then? By adding black, white or gray to any of the main hues!

Let’s take a quick look at a few more definitions so this makes sense:

  • Hue: a synonym for the word “color”
  • Shade: a term for adding black to a hue (i.e. dark red is a shade of red)
  • Tint: a term for adding white to a color (i.e. pink is a tint of the color red)
  • Tone/saturation: a hue you create when adding gray to a color

Sticking with the root

Starting to feel like you’re back in school and in a vocabulary lesson? Stick with me, because understanding the basics above means you’ll understand why certain colors look great together, and why you want to avoid other combinations.

Hubspot uses Twitter’s main color scheme as an example:

“Let’s use the blue from the logo, the lighter blue, as our reference point. That’s our hue. That’s ‘Twitter blue.’ The darker blue is simply a shade of that Twitter blue, yet it has a higher saturation, making it a bit more vivid and eye-catching (which makes a whole lot of sense considering Twitter is using that blue to draw attention to their primary CTA: ‘Tweet’).”

Hubspot's Twitter monochromatic color scheme example

The color scheme Twitter uses is “monochromatic,” because the root color is blue, and the shade, tint and saturation are only variations of that hue.

Pro tip: Monochromatic colors look great together!

A color scheme that pops

If you don’t want to go with a monochromatic color scheme, how do you select colors that are going to look good together? Hues that sit directly across from each other on the color wheel are a fantastic option, and they create great contrast.

Other good color combinations are those that are directly next to each other on the color wheel, called “analogous colors.” You can also opt for colors spaced evenly around the color wheel, referred to as “triadic colors.”

Next time you’re creating a graph, chart or updating your web design, you’ll be able to pull together coordinating colors from around the color wheel. Now you can select hues like a pro and your visuals will capture everyone’s attention!

About the Author:

Kate HarveyWith an extensive background in online marketing, Kate Harvey helps business owners be more successful in the world of SEO and SEM as a Search Marketing Specialist and Project Lead at GoDaddy.

 

 

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Forward your Extra Domains to Bolster your Business

Forward your Extra Domains to Bolster your BusinessThe motivation to start your own business may hit you suddenly, like lightning. It may burn inside of you for a time before you pounce on an opportunity. One thing that all small businesses have in common starting out is that each one starts with an idea.

And, for savvy startups, each idea has a domain name.

You were smart and planned ahead when you took the first steps to build your online presence. In addition to your primary domain name — which is like the street address for your website —  you also made sure to invest in a few extras. You bought the commonly misspelled versions of your name, the geographic or non-geographic version, the slick industry-specific domain name ending, too. One way or the other you wound up with one website and five or six domains, maybe more.

So what do you do next?

Sure, simply owning these domains in some cases is insurance enough, a way to prevent other competitors from edging in on your online identity. But now those extra domains are just sitting there in your account, collecting dust. Why not make your purchases pull their weight and start paying you back? It’s time for you to set up some domain forwarding.

Domain forwarding basics

First, let’s cover the basics. Domain forwarding is a way of redirecting all traffic from one domain to another. It’s practical for a variety of uses and can be used in a variety of ways, but consider this specifically: if you have multiple domain names all pointing to your website, you have effectively expanded the size of your dragnet to grab extra traffic that might otherwise pass you by.

I can think of a few instances when I remembered someone’s domain name but not its specific domain extension. Was it .com, or did they say .org? If you only own one domain, and I go to the wrong one, you’ve just missed out on a potential customer. If you own the variant extensions to your domain and have them all forwarding to the same place, you can easily pick up those stragglers and get them back in line with the herd. Once they land correctly at your home page, your magnificently-crafted site will do the rest of the work for you in translating a viewer into a customer.

“Cool,” you might think, “but that sounds like it could be tricky to set up.” Heck no! GoDaddy and some other domain registrars make it easy (and free) to forward domains. Here’s a help article that shows you step-by-step how to make it happen. Seriously, you can do it in less than five minutes.

A few pointers

Wow, that was fast! I told you it would be easy. Before you dive into your account and start the forwarding party, here are a few tips:

  • In this kind of situation, a “301 redirect” is recommended.
  • Forwarding with Masking is a handy thing, but if you are directing youractualbusinessname.net to youractualbusinessname.com, it is not necessary.

With just a few shakes of a mouse, you have expanded your online presence and cast a larger net out into the world that will direct more people to help you share your passion. With the expanded amount online real estate being funneled to your live website, your traffic will increase organically and you will be able to reap the benefits of all those extra domains.

About the Author

Eirk WongErik Wong is a small business/tech consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has written a regular column for a current events blog, and his commentary has been featured on realclearpolitics.com. Connect with Erik on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.

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Don’t be Invisible: Build an Online Presence for your Business

by Matthew Tondreau, GoDaddy

Build an online presence Let’s face it, the logistics of just launching a business is a daunting task, let alone tackling that juggernaut called “The Internet” to create your online presence. Yet in today’s competitive world getting out there on the Web is no longer a technological luxury — it’s a basic necessity for raising customer awareness if you’re at all serious about doing business.

Recent research shows that surprisingly, many small businesses remain AWOL when it comes to any type of presence online. But those that are taking advantage of this essential marketing tool experience significant gains — especially the businesses who follow a strategy like I mention below to maximize those benefits.

So whether it’s an e-commerce website (any site that sells things) or an online business card (informational site), you’ll want to present a virtual version of your company with an elegant site that’s easy to find, simple to use, conveys your message clearly and, most importantly, provides a way for the customer to contact you and offer feedback.

OK, I can hear you now, “Sure Matt, that’s easy for you to say. I know I need a website that’s awesome, but I can’t afford a fancy web designer and I have no idea how to build a site or what to do with it if I did.” Just chillax. There are numerous site builders out there for the “tech challenged” so you no longer have to be a computer science major to get your digital showroom up and running.

Do your research before choosing someone to build your site

Website buildersA quick Google search will give you many results for site builders. Be weary of ones that are free, or claim to be. The phrase, “You get what you pay for,” applies here. This is your first impression to potentially millions of customers. Why would you expect to get what you need for free?

That being said, when you’re researching your potential site builders there are two major things to consider:

  1. You need to be able to connect your domain name to your site with either nameservers or an IP address. Just a redirect will not help you in your SEO journey.
  1. Try to get a site builder that will help you optimize your site. You are the expert at what you do; so let an SEO wizard help you get the correct verbiage on your site to help the search engines read your content better and ultimately rank you higher.

Frankly, for my money, I think building a site yourself gives you multiple advantages. Normally, you have templates that you can switch out so a site revamp is just a few clicks away. It also gives you complete control over your site and its message. Plus, you don’t have to pay for additional updates and your updates happen when you want them done, because you’re the one doing them.

And not to mention that creating your own site will free up more money for the day-to-day operations of your business.

Build it and they will come — not!

Now you can sit back and watch the customers clicking away as their orders for your product or service come flooding in, right?

Unh-uh, think again. This is where most people get stuck in their online business. They only think about the website itself and not how to market it. When I speak to business owners they are shocked, shocked to find out that a successful website with a great organic ranking is like any successful relationship — it takes a lot of time and attention.

“Your website isn’t a Ronco rotisserie; you can’t just “set it and forget it.”

You have to constantly work at marketing your site to get it in front of the right viewers — your potential customers. But most business owners don’t have the time to update their site continuously with unique, eye-catching content. What are you to do? I have two basic tips:

Internet marketing treeFirst, to save some time, link your business site to social media sites. Namely, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You don’t have to do them all, but you should sign up for at least one. There are so many ways for content to get reposted on these sites, which will connect you to a broader audience. You can’t afford not to be on them.

Look for tools that help spread your business information across the web and put your information in multiple places simultaneously. This includes consumer-sourced review sites like Yelp, search and discovery apps like Foursquare, and places that do both like Google Maps. This way, while you’re developing your organic ranking you can be assured that potential customers can find your site in multiple locations. So instead of just trying to bring the Internet to your single site with optimization, you can double dip and get your business information set up on multiple, reputable sites that are designed to give the consumer results closest and best suited to them.

Following these fundamental principles of opening for business online ensures that your website will not only have the legs to stand up, but will also stand out on the Internet.

About the Author:

Matthew TondreauA small business consultant for GoDaddy, Mat holds a degree in broadcast journalism and has worked as a broadcast editor and photographer. In addition to his work at GoDaddy, Matt owns his own consultancy business, through which he’s helped others get their dreams online.

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Design like it’s 1999 – 4 Website Design Choices that make Viewers Cringe

By Erik Wong, GoDaddy

4 website design choices that make viewers cringeWebsites are like snowflakes: no two are ever quite the same. They’re often a reflection of the designer’s creativity, the utility of the site itself, or an example of a current trend in design communities. If you’re a small business looking to make an impression with your customer base online, it’d be in your best interest to pay attention to those design factors to ensure that said impression be a damn fine one.

You see, as varied as our preferences are, there are a handful of design choices many people find almost universally poor in taste. As your partner in your online presence, GoDaddy does not want you to be “That Guy” — you know, the one with the outdated or obnoxious website packed with blinking headlines, rainbow hues, bedazzled backgrounds and cluttered copy.

So when designing your site, here are four major content mistakes to avoid at all costs:

Flashy or color changing text  

Yes, it's attention-getting, but really?

Hang on, my satellite phone is ringing … 1999 called and it wants its site designs back. But seriously, while still useful for things like Craigslist ads, flashing or color-changing text is one of the most obnoxious and stubborn holdovers to web designs from the past. A well-designed site with good content doesn’t need to rely on gimmicks to draw your attention to key areas.

Like the old adage goes, saying the wrong thing louder doesn’t make it right.

Hard to find or out-of-place information

Don’t hide menus or button in the clutter of your pages, and be sure to include all relevant information in plain sight, including prices, menus, service areas, and so on. If you run a physical business, display your hours and location(s) clearly in an obvious place on your site. You would think this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many sites overlook this kind of stuff.

Poorly-created videos

Having videos on your site is a terrific idea. It keeps your customers engaged and gives you dynamic content to break up monotony. We know you aren’t Michael Bay, though, and we forgive you for that. Your video doesn’t have to be extravagant and it shouldn’t even cost you anything to create. While I’ve covered things to avoid when making a video for your site already, I feel it’s important to touch on just a few of the major no-no’s before the camera rolls:

  • Don’t wing it, have a script and a controlled environment.
  • Use a tripod or stand to keep the camera stable to prevent the shaky-cam look.
  • Speak clearly and concisely; avoid muttering, heavy breathing, and filler words (“Umm,” “like,” and “you know”).

And if you do have videos or audio on your site, DO NOT set it to auto play once the page loads. I may be an extreme example, but the last time I went to a website that had an auto play video, I threw my speakers in the garbage out of spite. Now I can’t hear anything…

Busy, busy backgrounds!

A common misconception about website backgrounds is that they’re just another place to display information or set the stage for your site. The reality is video, .gif, or slideshow backgrounds only distract from the actual content on the page. Think of it like the walls of your house. You don’t need LIVING ROOM painted in big red letters to tell your guests the room they’re in. The sofa, TV and coffee table convey that information just as well.

You want your background, like the walls of your house, to accent the content of the site and frame the major areas of information, not to distract from them

While this is by no means a comprehensive list, as long as we have covered the basic Do’s and Don’t Evers you should have a solid foundation to build a truly kick-ass website that you can be proud of. If you have any friends who still follow the old design tropes, show them your modern makeover or recommend a visit to GoDaddy for help. Remember: friends don’t let friends design obliviously.

About the Author

Eirk WongErik Wong is a small business/tech consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has written a regular column for a current events blog, and his commentary has been featured on realclearpolitics.com. Connect with Erik on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.

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