Combining Outsourced Sales and Internet Marketing

logos for CruxBridge Media and OmniSolusWhy we’ve changed …

… (more or less) from CruxBridge Media (CBM) to OmniSolus, and combine outbound sales and Internet marketing?

If you don’t mind, this is going to be what’s called a “we we” post, or one where I talk more about the company, than about the reader. In other words, I’m breaking the cardinal rule of blogging. I feel, though, that a full explanation is needed. I hope you’ll see why I’ve made this change, and how it can help your company. [Read more...]

Google Page Ranking

Google Page Ranking, and Content… and the content you need to get high search engine results …

“How do I get a high Google page ranking for my Website?”

I get that question a lot when I’m out and about, after people discover what I do for a living. They think there’s some kind of simple “secret sauce” they can add to their sites to make them rank higher in Google.

The short answer is … yes, there is a secret sauce. But with most secret sauces you see made on Food Network shows, there’s some work and a few ingredients that go into this search engine optimization, or SEO oriented sauce. Unlike most Food Network shows, though, giving the recipe won’t take me a half hour, a ton of commercials, and incessant reminders of what the show is about.

First, you might need to change the way you think about search engine results. Then we can talk about Google-magnet content, and the SEO secret sauce you need to add to get your content into that vaunted first page of Google.

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My Site Looks Great, but Doesn’t Work!

Website Relaunches and DesignWebsite Relaunches, Design and Content …

When I’m out and about doing business networking, I’ve heard all kinds of variations on the following complaint:

My Website doesn’t work, and I don’t know why! I’ve invested all kinds of money in it, but something’s still wrong with it.

At that point, the person in question will go on to tell me that the site has been redesigned a dozen times in the past couple of years by great designers … but nothing happens. The business owner or marketing manager with whom I’m speaking is seeing zero return-on-investment (ROI) from the site, and they’re frustrated.

The problem behind a Website not “working” generally doesn’t have much to do with the design or with the actual operation of the site. A site is generally viewed as being “broken” because of one of three items, or a combination of them … which you’ll discover immediately after the jump.

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What a Consumer Wants

Graphic of Website Relaunch and Marketing Concerns

© iStockPhoto

Website Redesign and Relaunch, and Conversion Rates …

For some reason, this lyric popped into my head when I first read a couple of mornings back about new research from our technology partner HubSpot:

What a girl wants
What a girl needs
Whatever keeps me in your arms
~ What a Girl Wants, Christina Aguilera

(Things like that tend to happen after I’ve had my first cup of coffee for the day.)

Companies relaunch Websites precisely because they want to keep their customers in their “arms”—in this case, on their sites and using them for e-commerce, lead generation, news-article views and so on. Their old sites probably weren’t getting the job done, and their sales, leads or pageviews were suffering as a result.

Or just as likely: Their old Websites were mired in 2005 (or 1995), and they needed a new, modern look that also fulfills a business purpose (see paragraph above).

What consumers want and what they don’t want in a Website, and how that can help with your Website redesign and relaunch strategy … after the jump.

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On the Web, and In It

graphic of Small Business Websites - Effective, InexpensiveInexpensive, effective websites for small business: I hadn’t planned on the topic of small businesses and Websites turning into a two-part series. But after I wrote the post on why using a strategy advocated by The Wall Street Journal was a bad idea, I thought I needed to expand on it .. so much so, that I’m soon going to be publishing an eBook on it.

From that original piece, the WSJ said:

… [I]f you’re starting a business with limited funds, a flashy company Website isn’t a must. For little or no cost, you could put your fledgling enterprise on a third-party site such as a blog-hosting service, social-media outlet, business directory or marketplace.

While I agree with a lot of that statement (and that comes from someone who makes their living at creating Websites for all sizes and kinds of businesses), I strongly disagree with some of it. Which part? And what to do about it?

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Some Words About WordPress Security

WordPress security graphicWordPress security: When some people—WP “haters,” especially—read those two words together, they tend to put the phrase “lack of” in the middle. The only problem with that is they’re wrong.

There have been a few high-profile cases in the past year or so of mass hackings of such sites. Thing is, the ultimate fault of those hacks comes from the servers at the hosting companies, not the site owners or the WP content-management system (CMS) in and of itself.

With WordPress being the most-used CMS for Websites, and most of the largest Web hosting companies providing these services for such sites, it stands to reason that hackers are devoting much of their time to penetrating WP sites and their hosts.

WP is built on a programming language called PHP, which is also used for other CMS platforms. That’s a key point you need to know, as you read the following passage from one of WP’s lead developers:

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On the Web, but Not In It

Chalkboard with a partial Web addressWebsites for small businesses: The Wall Street Journal last Monday published an interesting story that will no doubt have appeal for small businesses. In the process, though, it might do these vulnerable members of the community a real disservice.

Before I go on, I need to come clean: I make my living off of providing Website strategy, design, development and content services, as well as a heckuva lot of consulting services in various related areas. So take everything I write with a grain .. or two .. or a whole shaker full … of salt.

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SEO and Inbound Marketing … Fast Results!

graphic of Search Engine Optimization - SEOFollow up email from social business meeting … that keyword string entered into Google by a person shows the power of search engine optimization, or SEO, and inbound marketing in general. It also demonstrates how quickly a well-optimized blog post can bring results to your company.

Just yesterday at my Hand to Mouse Networking site, I published a blog post called Following Up … For Success. It’s the start of a three-part series on how to follow up on social-business networking. The first part was really an intro to the series, and Parts II and III will deal with two systems on following up with both offline and online contacts.

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Lead Nurturing and Email Autosponders

email box for lead nurturing, autoresponders and drip marketingCall it email autoresponder campaigning or drip marketing. I actually call it lead nurturing. No matter how they’re known, though, they all have the same effect: They put your brand at the top of your prospects’ minds. They’re even more effective when you’ve attracted them to your site or premium offer with an inbound-marketing campaign.

Combining a lead-nurturing campaign with a premium-content publication or special offer, and even tossing in a free trial or demo of your product or service to kick things up a notch (sorry, Emeril), can increase your conversions and give you a greater return-on-investment (ROI) than outbound marketing. Here’s how.

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The State of Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing graphicThe concept behind inbound marketing isn’t really new. Most businesses and organizations want to get the most out of their Websites and other Internet-related marketing efforts, to generate qualified leads. What inbound marketing does is put a name and philosophy to the disparate processes and methods used to acquire these leads.

A recent report from the company that provides us (and our clients) with a centralized inbound-marketing platform contains a lot of great information on how this method is not only working, but how it kicks the pants off of traditional “outbound marketing” (advertising, direct mail, cold calling, etc.).

In fact, inbound marketing is quite “presidential” … here’s why.

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