Monthly Archives: June 2012

5 ways to increase your Twitter followers

Like Facebook, a Twitter account is simple to set up but takes time to gain enough followers to make a difference in your conversions.

Here are five steps to help boost your follower numbers:

Promote your twitter feed

Potential customers need to know that you are on Twitter. Simple steps to promote your Twitter account are to ensure you have a “follow me” button link on your website and to add your Twitter handle to you email signature, business card, Facebook page and other marketing material. If you want to get a little more technical, there are plug-ins which enable your Twitter feed to stream live on your website.

Follow people in your industry

Unless you are Paris Hilton, people are not going to follow you just for the sake of following you. Instead, you need to seek out like-minded Twitterers and follow them, in the hope of striking up a relationship. Concentrate on those with a good number of followers. If you are lucky, they will follow you back. Then if you tweet regularly, and have something to say, your followers may retweet your updates and their followers may start to follow you.

Engage your followers

It’s important that your tweets are not all just “sell, sell, sell”, you need to craft messages that engage the reader and are relevant to your customers. This way, you start to be seen as an industry expert and people will seek you out and follow you.  If your followers like what you have to say, they’ll retweet it, which builds your brand engagement.

Be real

Like other forms of social media, Twitter is all about the personality behind the brand. It gives potential customers an insight into the ethics and credibility of your company which will then help them form an opinion of whether they want to do business with you. And remember, you can’t be all things to all people, but stick to your corporate style and voice and you may become all things to some people.

Don’t stop at Twitter

It’s important to recognise that Twitter needs to be just one part of your online marketing strategy – all of which is aimed at driving visitors to your main website, then hopefully closing the sale. Without a website, any traction you might gain through Twitter is likely to be wasted. After all, people are more likely to place trust in a business with a professional website and a robust online presence.

For more information on how to make Twitter work for your business, or any other internet and social media marketing advice or assistance, call Direct Sites Online at 02 9558 7623 or email info@directsitesonline.com

How to create content that goes viral

We’ve all heard about those normal people, going about their normal life, when suddenly their blog or YouTube video has gone viral and is being seen by millions of people world-wide. How do they do it?

Well, in many cases it’s purely accidental. But one thing they have in common is that they have produced something that people want to share.

So when you create content for your blog or website, you should be thinking not only about what might capture people’s attention, but also want they might want to tell their friends (and friends of friends and so on).

It’s not an exact science, but there are a couple of key things that improve your chances.

Be passionate

Excitement is contagious and if you are passionate about the subject, it will show. And with passion comes expertise so you will be able to demonstrate to your readers that you are the go-to person in your niche. Chances are that someone out there will be just as passionate as you and will pass your message on.

Read other blogs and sites

This will give you an insight into what others might have to say and will allow you to form and share your opinion. It also means you can take part in a wider conversation on the topic through blog commenting and more than will provide you will valuable backlinks to your website.

Post a review

Offering a considered review on a product or service is a great way to get your content shared. And the best reviews tap into popular culture. It also means that your site might be found via Google as people search for the product or service you have reviewed.

Provide helpful advice

Have you had and outstanding success with something particular to your niche? Then share your wisdom and allow others to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Mixed media

Intersperse your written content with some unique infographics or eye-catching images. No-one wants to read (or share) big blocks of text. Remember, most people scan, rather than read, web pages.

Create something “pinnable”

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media sites out there and the best way to take advantage of this is to create a “pinnable” image or infographic about your product or service. And make sure you put a watermark on it so when people re-pin, you get the credit.

Direct Sites Online’s copywriting service can break through the noise and make sure your website has engaging content that people want to share. Call us on 02 9557 7623 or email info@directsitesonline.com.au

What you need to know about domain names

Put simply, a domain name is the address of your website – comparable to a bricks and mortar street address – and choosing the right one might be the most important decision you make in your online business journey.

Domain names need to be bought before you can start building a website, so there are several things you need to consider:

Name choice and availability

The best thing you can do is research, research, research. If you haven’t registered a business name yet, then wait until you know whether the corresponding domain name is available. But for those of you that already have a business name, you might find the corresponding domain name is already taken. So think about what people key into a search engine when they look for your product or business. And then consider what works with your businesses image and branding. The right name is out there.

Unfortunately, sometimes the right name has already been taken. In that situation, you have a number of options:

  1. Purchase the domain with a different extension (.net instead of .com,. for example)
  2. If the domain name is “parked” (ie someone has registered the name but is not using it), then you can do a search for the owner and see if they will transfer ownership to you.
  3. Choose another domain name.

 

Managing your domain

Domain names tend to be “rented” rather than purchased outright, so you will need to monitor when it expires and renew before someone else nabs it. And you also need to ensure that your details are up-to-date – domain names are controlled by the details attached to the account.

Multiple names and redirection.

You can register as many domain names as you want in order to protect your brand from competitors who may create confusion. These extra domain names can then be redirected to your actual site, which means you can capture visitors who type in the wrong address.

To register the perfect domain name for your business, contact Direct Sites Online on 02 9557 7623 or email info@directsitesonline.com.au

Top 5 things all websites must have

With more and more people going online to buy products and services it’s essential that your website stands out from the crowd.

Think of your site as your online shopfront – would you have a messy display in your bricks and mortar shop window? Would you make it hard for people to find things? I hope the answer to both of these is a resounding “no”. And the same applies to your website.

So what are the five things every website must have for both usability and conversions?

  1. Good design: Every website needs a clean, elegant and professional look and feel. Whether you are a work-at-home mum selling handmade baby clothes, or a big multi-faceted business, this is the number one thing to aim for with your website. The design needs to show that you mean business while delivering user-friendly navigation and eye-catching images or graphics.
  2. Content: These days, it is not enough to simply have a static website – with the same content as is on your printed material – and hope for the best. You need to keep the information fresh and valuable to the visitor. Google likes websites that continually update their content and the latest news is that the search engine algorithm is now taking a closer look at quality content. As for the visitor you need to give them something interesting to read and a strong call to action to ensure visits turn into leads which turn into sales. The best way to keep content fresh is to include a blog on your site and there are many content management systems out there which make it easier for the layperson to update content.
  3. Navigation: This was touched on above in regards to design. You need to ensure that the visitor does not get lost in your site – or get directed away. This means clear, intuitive navigation and understandable titles and internal links. It pays to include navigation at the top and bottom of the screen.
  4.  Social Media: Set up social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin – at the very least – and then make sure these profiles are well integrated with your page. Social media is a fantastic way to drive visitors to your website and here at Direct Sites Online we can ensure a cohesive approach to your social media marketing.
  5. Search Engine Marketing: Pay-per-click advertising such as Google Adwords is a very cost-effective way to increase traffic to your site – as long as you target your keywords correctly. The best way to included PPC advertising in your marketing toolkit is to engage an expert such as Direct Sites Online to get you started.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that none of the above offers overnight success. But if you stick to the basics, the rewards will pay off.

If you need a website – or if your current online presence needs refreshing to meet the above needs – give Direct Sites Online a call on 02 9557 7623 or email info@direcsitesonline.com.au

Why Facebook “likes” help grow your branding

As we have mentioned before – just once or twice – social media is a powerful online marketing tool.

The main sites – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – offer a myriad of opportunities for the savvy business person to create “buzz” and source leads.

Of these, Facebook has firmed as the most effective and popular platform because of the choices it offers – creating exclusive groups, setting up email lists, displaying products and more. It is especially beneficial for business to customer interaction.

Think of Facebook “likes” as viral marketing. When someone likes your page, your updates will appear in their newsfeed. Then, when they comment or like a status update, or accept an invite to an event, their friends will see their interaction with your page.

It’s a virtual “word-of-mouth” – when a person ‘likes’ your page or post, they are, in effect, recommending your business to their friends.

Here are a few more reasons why page and post “likes” can grow your brand:

Trust

When someone likes your page or post, it’s like an instant review, with very little effort on anyone’s part. They are telling their friends that your brand is trustworthy.

Feedback

If you run a product-based business, you can easily see what products may be popular by how many “likes” they get when you post a picture. It’s much cheaper and more instant that running a full market research campaign.

On-going promotion

As mentioned before, Facebook “likes” can easily go viral, especially if you create a compelling product page or wall message. Once you reach critical mass of “likes”, this means your message never ends.

But remember, like any marketing, posts and pages on Facebook need to be targeted to the right audience and offer benefits rather than features.

For more information, or for advice and assistance in setting up and promoting your Facebook page and thus your brand, call Direct Sites Online on 02 9557 7623 or email info@directsitesonline.com.au