Web Marketing/Canadian Copywriter
On the " writing and the world wide web page" of the Canadian Copywriter, we touched on writing for the Internet. Rather than repeat ourselves, let's just assume that it's important for your writing to be clear, concise and as brief as possible. Also, rather than go into lengthy explanations about the intricacies of obtaining a website, let's assume that your website is already up and running. Okay. Now let's get straight to the heart of the matter. Once you own a website, you want people to enjoy the content so they'll keep returning, which will be no easy task. Thousands of websites are being added to the Internet every day, so you'll be competing against a myriad of choices. The trick will be to make your site as "tasty" as possible -- plus you want "sticky content" -- so people will continue to return for more "scrumpty-diddly-oh-lishus" bites of information:
BE MEMORABLE.

Your site should be appealing to the eye the second it downloads. You'll want to pique a surfer's interest, then keep him or her interested, then offer something better on their return. Do the words "marketing 101" ring a bell?
remembering

FREE STUFF. If possible, give away a sample of your service. For example, if you're a clothing manufacturer, offer a T-shirt or a golf hat. Put your logo on whatever you give away. It's a good memory trigger.








SURVEYS.

People love to air (and sometimes vent) their opinions . Include a survey on your website. Make sure the final results make a worthwile point.
KEEP YOUR WEBSITE , FRESH, NEW AND INVITING.
new

Renew your website every week or so. If the information has changed, draw attention to the changes. A "NEW" sign indicating that the information has changed is a good idea!

GET A 1-800 NUMBER.

Unfortunately, there are still a few nervous nellies out there who believe that the Internet is insecure and the "scare" stories in the media have increased the paranoia.

Some people believe that if they reveal their charge account number by making a purchase on the internet, they will give millions of people access to their account -- and that millions of nerdy kids are on their computers trying to figure out a way to steal their money.

Eventually, this fear will subside, but for now a good idea is to include a 1-800 number on your website. That way people can order your goods over the phone, believing it's far more secure (although it isn't) than the Internet.

SELL, SELL, SELL!

If your web page is selling something, make sure that people know about it. Mention whatever you're selling on every web page and provide a link back to the selling page.

carpetbagger
USE STEP-UP FORMS.

People who visit your site are often looking for information about your company and usually they're willing to fill out a form for more information. Of course, you, as a marketer, will want them to fill out as much information as possible. However, if you present them with a form that never seems to stop, a visitor might balk, thinking that you want too much information. In this case, the secret is to offer step-up forms. A step-up form system has an uncanny way of breaking down a huge form down into "bite-size" chunks. Once the visitor has finished answering a few questions, they will click "submit" and another form will be introduced -- with just a few more questions. After filling out this form, another form will be introduced.

The beauty of the step-up form is twofold: 1. The more forms the visitor fills out, the better qualified your "lead" will be. 2. If the visitor suddenly develops "cold feet", at least you will have the information that they have already entered. All that's required now is a "cool sales pro" who can make a call, say "hi there" and allay their fears about being roped into something they may not want to do. This isn't just marketing 101. It's making things easier for your customers, and giving them an "out" that every consumer deserves. Isn't that what your company is all about? Offering an excellent product for a fair price?Isn't that what you're all about as a fair and reasonable organization? On second thought, maybe you're not a fair and reasonable organization. Sorry, but we just assumed...

AVOID TEMPLATES.

Can you believe that there are a lot of companies out there who do very good work, but when they present themselves to potential new clients, they look like a bunch of dismal "sad sacks".

In this day and age, it's tough to make money -- particularly when the big companies won't pay until 60 or even 90 days, but the small companies have got to bite the bullet. Some, however, in a misbegotten attempt to save money, will go the cheap route and do anything to get by.

Saving money is the big thing, right! Instead of going for an image that fits them exactly, they will resort to either finding somebody who knows a little bit about programming or buying templates for their web site.

Buying a template? What the H..E..double tooth picks! Isn't that sort of like buying a pair of dentures from a catalogue, then having them fitted to the hole in your head.

What better way to show the world that you're not original thinkers -- and that you're kinda cheap and kinda lazy?

What better way to show the world that your company isn't unique? Okay, time out here. If you want to demonstrate to the world that you do think differently, you've got to avoid templates at all costs. On the surface, they may look like a good idea -- but making them fit to what your company is all about will eventually turn out to be a disaster.

If you want your web presence to be right, hire an expert.

USE VIRAL MARKETING.

With your website, you can take advantage of viral marketing -- or, in other words, having people "pass along" how much they enjoyed your website to someone else. Installing a "share" button on your web site is a snap. Just ask your webmaster or you can call us at 905-895-9021.

Check out this marvellous example of viral marketing. It's a web site created by Nova Scotia which features an incredible new phone to promote the province. How do they do it? Click here and see!



ESTABLISH
YOUR IDENTITY

Having the right domain name or URL can make a world of difference when you're trying to be memorable. Give yourself an address that people can easily remember. Otherwise you'll be lost in the crowd.


FIND THE RIGHT HOME.

Location is everything for brick and mortar stores. But an e-commerce business can operate from anywhere on the planet. If you're planning to stay in the e-business for a while, purchase and set up your own web server (Linux is the standard), or find a home for your site with the right Internet Service Provider or Web host.


BUILD AN
ATTRACTIVE
STOREFRONT.

With the right tools, creating a web site is easier than ever. But following some standard rules for attractive web sites will help make your site easy and fun for your customers to navigate. And that means more sales for you!

LET CUSTOMERS KNOW THEY CAN TRUST YOU.

Customers who visit your web site are leary of giving out private information, particularly credit card numbers or phone numbers. They must know that your site is legitimate and the information they send is protected. Get a security certificate (Verisign or Thawte are the standards). When people realize that you value their security, they'll make their purchases.


MAKE IT EASY FOR
CUSTOMERS
TO PAY.

You can set up your site so customers can pay by simply keying in a credit card number. But then how will you process that transaction? Make sure you not only offer customers a variety of convenient payment methods, but that you can process them all.

LET THE WORLD KNOW
YOU'RE HERE!

A memorable domain name, a spiffy design and top notch products and services are only part of the equation of owning a web site. You've also got to make sure that your customers know about it. Make sure your web site is listed in all the search engines. Once it's listed, establish a Search Engine Optimization Program. With a good Search Engine Optimization Program, you'll have all the right keywords in every page of your web site to conform to Google's standards (we only say Google here because Google pretty much rules the world in search engines. 70% of the world searches the Internet through Google). Google crawls the web with a "GoogleBot", checking out every web site, looking for keywords, but it's also looking for other things -- about 100other things -- such as the quality of other web sites that are linked with yours and whether or not you've closed off your tags or written alts for your images -- and the list goes on and on. Google also has an "adwords" program which lets you list your business in a special section and charges you on a "pay per click" basis. You don't pay for the service until someone clicks on your ad and goes to your site. You can even establish your own budget ceiling. If the number of clicks goes beyond your budget, Google turns off your advertising. Google has refined the "adwords" program to a science -- even allowing you to run different levels of "adwords" throughout the day at different times. Wow, do we live in a sophisticated world or what, eh?

The web is changing our lives -- and probably for the better. Let's take Canadian Tire as an example. The "Ivory Tower" types at that company decided on March 1, 2008 that they would no longer publish a paper version of their catalogue. The reason: in the competitive retail business, catalogues didn't offer much of a chance to change prices on the fly -- so they're going totally on the web. That's good news for the trees. It's also good news for you and I -- because trees are necesary for the ozone layer. Good news for web designers too!