WEBSITE ESSENTIALS 101: A 4 PART TUTORIAL FOR BEGINNERS

Part 1: So, after much thought, debate, soul searching and presumably many memos, meetings and conferences, not to mention infinite cups of coffee, your company or business has decided to take the plunge and join the rest of the planet online.   In other words, you need/want/must have a website devoted to your enterprise. Like many newbies entering the web for the first time, or even if you have an established site, but it isn’t generating the volume of traffic you anticipated, or [...]

Are You Using UGC?

Also known as User Generated Content, UGC is the online version of ‘Word-of-Mouth’ marketing and can be found on popular retail sites such as Amazon.com.  In fact, a book I recently read (Eats, Shoots & Leaves) has generated 546 Amazon reviews to date. Another web property leveraging UGC is Google.  For example, a Google search for ‘Hotels Toronto’  profiles 10 ‘Local Listings’ on the first page.  To the right of these listings are reviews, with the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel boasting [...]

Writing for SEO

SEO Copywriting has its challenges, especially when a similar industry or service is referred to by different terms. Case in point:  we recently re-wrote the website content for a client offering Bad Credit Car Loans in Toronto.  A key term that the client wanted to rank for was ‘Car Loans in Toronto’, which seems straightforward.  But like most things SEO related, is not the case. For example, keyword research revealed that those searching for this service also used alternate search phrases, including:  Car Loan [...]

Gotta Love Google Local

‘Tis the season to spread some cheer, for some of my fellow Netizens, perhaps even buy a beer. The cheer I’m speaking of is that of Google Local.  For those that have yet to partake, it’s worth a look, and more.  In a nutshell, or roasted chestnut, it’s a tool that Google offers to anyone with a Google account.  It helps if you have a website that you want to promote: Even more helpful if you're a business with multiple locations in a specific region.  For [...]

Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

It pays to browse through The Google Webmaster Central Blog on occasion.  You just never know when you’ll come across a Google gem.  For example, they recently created and distributed a document called Google's SEO Starter Guide. As the title implies, it’s SEO 101 for Google Website Optimization, but many of their recommendations should translate into positive results for other Search Engines: There are other search engines after all, right? Some suggestions are just common sense, while others are excellent reminders [...]

Music on Websites: Compelling or Repelling?

The answer to the question should be based on ‘user intent’.  More to the point, the purpose of your website and who you are trying to attract. For example, if your website is about promoting music, and/or if you are The Apple iTunes store, it’s a safe bet that people are going to your site to listen to and download music.  If you are a plastic surgeon and your site is about attracting new patients, music may not be welcome or [...]

The Web Copywriter and the Retention of Rights

When it comes to keeping content new and fresh, many a blogger and webmaster turn to web copywriters to assist them in developing and maintaining fresh copy for their sites.  Sometimes, however, questions arise after content has been paid for.  Who has the right to the content provided by the web copy writer?  Here are a few scenarios to consider when paying for web content. Is the content yours exclusively? This is only the case if you have clarified the terms [...]

Sympathy for the Telemarketer

Some may tell those thinking of a career in Telemarketing to reconsider, especially since the launch of Canada's Do Not Call (DNC) List.  Career changes aside, does the DNC List mean that Telemarketers are an endangered species?  Not Likely.   Based on the DNC Exemption List, I fear that they will be with us for many years to come.  Exempted organizations include: o Charitable Organizations o Political Parties o Newspapers o Marketing Research Firms o Polling Firms o Organizations that consumers have ‘existing relationships’ with  Personally, I have nothing against Telemarketers.  In fact, some of my best friends are [...]

Web Writer This Way…

Write This Way The process of hiring/outsourcing a Web Writer is alien to many people, including Website owners.  In many cases, the task of Web Writing and/or content development falls on 'Marketing’, ‘IT’, or the person managing both, usually the small business owner.  In fact, Web Content Development is usually an after thought during the Web Design process. To add insult to injury, it's usually the Web Designer that gets the glory, and the girl - or boy.  The Web Designer rides in on his/her multi-colored stallion; [...]

Where’s The Web Content?

I spoke with a web designer the other day – also a friend and colleague.  After some idle chit chat, it turns out he needed help with a client: as the story goes, the client’s site design was finished and almost ready to launch, replete with Flash and other bells & whistles; the only thing missing?  Web Content… As is the case with many web design projects, my friend had been waiting for the client’s content for weeks.  The design looked great, but with [...]