All posts by Juliet Austin

Client Attracting Websites

Is Your Website Failing To Attract Enough Clients?

If you are therapist, coach or healing professional looking for help in attracting more clients  through your website? If so, check out this 8-week tele-seminar series offered by Juliet:

Did you know…

Research shows that you only have 2-4 seconds to capture the attention of your web visitors before they click away to the next website?

There is now a wealth of research on what makes websites successful.
This tele-seminar series will show you how to implement this research so that your website attracts all the clients you want.

Discover:

  • how to get your web visitors’ attention within a few seconds of landing at your site
  • what pages and type of information converts the most visitors into clients
  • how to make your site information-rich so visitors keep coming back for more
  • how to make your site rank higher in search engines
  • the best low-cost methods for promoting your site both on and off the Internet

Join us for the Client Attracting Websites Series…

Dates: Eight Tuesdays from October 23 – December 11, 2007
Time: 5:00-6:15pm Pacific Time

Calls are held on a teleconference phone line.
If you can’t make all the calls, you can listen to the audio-recordings afterwards.

Save $100 with our Introductory Pricing:

Early Bird Fee; $149 +GST (If you register BEFORE October 5, 2007)
Regular: $199 + GST (If you register AFTER October 5, 2007)

For more information: http://www.julietaustin.com/clientattractingwebsites.html

Green Marketing: 10 Rules

Hugh Hough from the Green Team has written an article, 10 Rules of Green Marketing over at Ecoamerica.

Good, basic rules, particularly for those new at green and socially responsible marketing. Here is a summary:

 

1. Don’t focus solely on "green".  Hough suggests that consumers want more than this and that companies now need to address the 3 pillars of sustainability: environmental impact, social impact, economic
feasibility.

2. Walk before you talk. Ensure your business is engaging in green marketing before you make any claims.

3. Focus on Facts.  Don’t make claims that you are socially responsible and green –focus on the facts–specifically what you are doing.

4. Let someone else tell your story. Get endorsements from clients and non-profits that you have partnered with.

5. Keep it simple, make it relevant. Make your
sustainability initiatives  feel like a natural extension of your
brand.

6. Look inside. Ensure your employees are involved in your sustainability initiatives.

7. Money isn’t everything. Don’t just focus on making financial contributions to green initiatives. Make connections between your brand and the cause.

8. Tell the truth, the whole truth. Be honest, admit your flaws and say what you are doing to change them.  Consumers want transparency.

9. Be genuine. Sustainable marketing must be real and authentic. It should be embraced by everyone involved.

10. Have fun. Don’t be all doom and gloom.

Green Businesses Will Not Solve Environmental Problems

It’s wonderful to see the mainstream increasingly adopt more "green" or "socially responsible" products making room for more green businesses. However, I am concerned that the message that people are getting is that buying green will solve the environmental crisis.

The bigger issue that is not being addressed enough in the mainstream media and culture is that we need to reduce our consumption patterns. And while  Perry Goldstein makes a good point in that we do need to purchase and use things in order to survive, many of us  likely consume more things than we need.

So while I am happy that the green business movement is growing, I think it’s important to note that it is simply one step forward in solving the enormous problems that will make the world a better place. I look forward to the day that we all care enough to realize that we need to fundamentally change the way we live and consume.

Are you Baffled by the Key Word Selection Process?

As small businesses, socially responsible, health or healing businesses often don’t have budgets to hire search engine experts to optimize their websites. While Nathaniel and I help our clients with basic search engine optimization (SEO) as most of them have no idea have to do this themselves, I encourage my clients to learn the basics. Even knowing just a bit of SEO information can help with your search engines rankings.

SEO expert Aaron Wall was recently interviewed by Kelly Spors from The Wall Street Journal on Keyword Selection. Aaron clearly explains the often confusing process of selecting keywords.

Some of the methods Aaron suggests for determining keywords include:

  • for established sites, check your web traffic logs to see how people are finding you
  • write down all the keywords you would use to search for your product or service
  • ask past and current customers/clients what they would use to search for your product or service
  • research what terms are being used on blogs and discussion forums related to your topic
  • determine what keywords are being used for the top competing sites in your area

All this and more on this great podcast. You can listen to the podcast for free here.

Shattering the Myths of Duplicate Content and Search Engines

I have read so much conflicting information on the duplicate content issue and how search engines deal with it. A lot of people seem to think that if you have any duplicate content on your website that the search engines will penalize you by not indexing any of your web pages that have the same content.

SEO expert, Jill Whalen, has written a wonderful article that dispels this myth and explains that if you simply have duplicate content on some of your pages or have re-published articles online that exist on your website  you don’t have anything to worry about. The worst that will happen is that search engines may only index one of the pages that are the same, hence the rest won’t show up in search results.

If you are trying to trick the search engines in some way, well that is a different matter… you may just end up being penalized.  Some, or all of your pages may not show up…But, being a green or socially responsible business, we know you won’t be doing any of that! :-)

Greening the Apple

Ben Rowe points to another video by Greenpeace trying to get Apple to go Green.

Homevisualbig_3
As a long time Mac user I couldn’t agree more. I love Apple’s products and am disapointed that they aren’t doing more on the environmental front. There is no reason why they can’t be leaders in the conscious business arena.

From the Greenpeace website:

We love Apple. Apple knows more about "clean" design than anybody,
right? So why do Macs, iPods, iBooks and the rest of their product
range contain hazardous substances that other companies have abandoned?
A cutting edge company shouldn’t be cutting lives short by exposing
children in China and India to dangerous chemicals. That’s why we Apple fans need to demand a new, cool product: a greener Apple.

It’s a clever campaign and as Ben says, It’s positive protesting" as they are trying to work with the popularity of Apple, not against it. Take  part in the campaign.

Excellent Summary on Key Word Research

I can’t help but post another blog entry by copyblogger. His is one of the best blogs on copywriting.

A recent post of his, Five Essential Elements of Key Word Search Engine Research, does a great job of summarizing the value of key word research.

It is easily understandable even for those of you socially responsible and alternative health or healing business who normally want to run when you hear words like "search engine optimization" and "key word research."

Here are his 5 essential elements of key word search engine research:

1. Use the free and the paid research tools available.

2. Be as specific as you can with keyword phrases.

3. Pay attention to popular keywords while being realistic about using those that are highly competitive.

4. Ensure your search terms are relevant to your goals.

5. Choose keywords that support the development of content that is a valuable to readers.

Read the details of Brian’s post on key word search engine research.

Good Content Does Drive Traffic To Your Site

Tom Pick of Web Market Central has a great article called, How To Build Site Traffic with Compelling Content. His 12 methods are listed below. Great ideas, some that I had not heard of before.

  1. News feeds
  2. White papers
  3. Directories
  4. Stock quotes
  5. Quirky characters
  6. Blogs
  7. Webinars
  8. Podcasts
  9. Reports and Statistics
  10. Regulatory updates
  11. Book reviews
  12. Write your own book

For the details, see the entire article.

Using Video To Drive Traffic to Your Website

Marketing Experiments did a cool study to explore whether a video could increase targeted traffic to your site and guess what they found? Yup, it works amazing well.

Here is what they did:

They put entertaining (not promotional) videos on YouTube and Google video and then measured the times they were viewed, how many people clicked to the website (mentioned in the video), and how many site visitors converted to subscribers.

They concluded that it was well worth the effort and came up with these suggestions for using video:

  1. Keep your video clips short, preferable under 5 minutes.
    Most people browse through a number of videos when visiting sites like
    YouTube and Google Video, and may be unwilling to give any one video
    too much of their time
  2. Ensure that your video has
    interesting, entertaining or provocative content. If it doesn’t "wow"
    people, they will have little incentive to share it with other people
    they know, or across their social networks.
  3. Be cautious
    about including commercial or promotional content. The most powerful
    short videos are those which are purely entertaining. It’s when people
    click through to your site that the time is right to add your sales
    message.
  4. Don’t plan on creating just one video. It is hard,
    if not impossible, to accurately predict which videos will enjoy wide,
    viral distribution. Our own testing demonstrated that some videos were
    shared more than ten times as much as others. So plan on creating a
    series of clips, and learn from the one which performs the best.
  5. Optimize
    your video clips to maximize distribution across social network sites,
    use tags and bookmarking links to help people find, save and share your
    videos.
  6. Create videos that multiple people (possibly some of
    your customers) appear in. The best team of viral marketers you can
    hire are people who appear in your video and pass the video to their
    friends and family.

You can read more about their research here and watch one of the videos they used in the study here.