Tag Archives: Internet Marketing

Add a YouTube Video to ProFusion Products

Add YouTube Videos to Your ProFusion Products WebsiteInterested in adding a YouTube video to your ProFusion Products website? If so, then you have come to the right place to learn how to do it. Below are a few simple steps to add the video to your site.

Step #1 – Upload your video to YouTube. I will not bore you with the details of this task, if you do not know how to upload your video here is a simple video guide on how to upload a video to YouTube.
Step #2 – Once your video is uploaded, you need to retrieve the code for the video from YouTube. As you can see in the screen shot below, you need to click on “< Embed >” button first. Continued after screen shot…
Add YouTube to Your Website Screen 1

Step #2 (Con’t)
Once you have clicked on the “< Embed >” button, several new options become available. You can select the size, border color, and other display options. Once you have configured your options, you need to copy (CTRL + C) the code so you can add it to your website.

Add YouTube to Your Website Screen 2

Step #3 – Login to your ProFusion Products Website, and navigate to the page you want to add the video to. Once there, click on the < X > button. Continued below screen shot…

Add YouTube to Your Website Screen 3

Step #3 (Con’t) – Clicking the < X > button opens a small window, this is actually the code of your website page. In this example there is no other content on the page, but if this page had text already you would see code displayed here.

Add YouTube to Your Website Screen 4

Step #4 – Paste (CTRL + P) your code into the new window. Then click the “Apply” button and then the “OK” button. Continued below screen shot…

Add YouTube to Your Website Screen 5

Step #4 (Con’t) – Once the code is inserted into the page you will NOT see the video. You will simply be shown a dotted outline of where the video will display along with a red x. This is fine, it is simply a placeholder for the video.

Add YouTube to Your Website Screen 6

Step #5 – Save the page, and then go to the frontend of the website and view your video. That is it! You are all set to start showing the video to friends, relatives, colleges, and clients!

Add YouTube to Your Website Screen 7

Finding the right images for your website or blog

Depending on the type of person you are, it is possible, you may find updating your website exciting or just part of the job. One thing that any style of person can agree on is finding images that match your written word can often be extremely difficult. As a matter of fact, finding the right image can often take exponentially longer than writing the content itself.

Lucky for all of us, there are numerous websites that make finding images just a little bit easier. When I am writing a blog post, I am often thinking about what type of images I can use to complete my exhaustive vocabulary (sarcasm), after all a picture is worth a 1000 words. After my text is complete, and I have considered what type of images I am looking for, I visit a few stock image websites that have plenty of royalty free images to choose from.

Below is my review of the Stock Image websites I use most often.

  1. Google Image Search – Rating 2 out of 5

    Google Images LogoThis is a quick hit or miss, there are often not a lot of images to choose from that you can manipulate for your website. For those of you familiar with Google’s Image Search you will know that with every search typically 1000’s of results are returned. However, just because an image displays does not mean you can use it. What you need to find are images that artists have indicated can be used for commercial reproduction and manipulation. In order to do this, you need to change your search filters to exclude images that you cannot use. To make this change you first conduct a Google Image search, and then click on “Advanced Search.” This will bring up a new page where you can define certain search parameters. One of the last options on the page is usage rights, I change this value to “labeled for commercial reuse with modification.” This indicates to Google that you only want images that you can manipulate and reuse on your website. Results of this type typically return less than 100 images. Sometimes you get lucky, most of the time you move onto the next option.

  2. iStockphoto – Rating 4.5 out of 5

    iStockphoto Account Sign UpThis is in my opinion the most cost affective, quality image search location on the web. Their photos are high quality, relevant and there is a large selection to choose from. Most images that you would use on a website or blog cost $1, if you are trying to use them for printing, they will run $5-$20 which are all very reasonable prices considering the other options available to you. iStockphoto also has a feature called “Lightboxes” which allow you to gather a group of images together, and then you can email them to other people for review. So often, when I am trying to narrow down to the final image to use on a website, I will create a Lightbox with a few images in it, and then email it to decision makes of the website. Allowing them to view the images, and voice their opinion on which images is the best.

    To create a Lightbox on iStockphoto.com is pretty easy, simply sign-up for an account via the link in the top right corner of the iStockphoto.com website. After your account is set-up, each image you search for will have an option to “Add to Lightbox” if you have not created a lightbox, or want to create a new one you will be prompted to do so.

  3. Big Stock – Rating 3.5 out of 5

    Stock Photos, Royalty Free Stock Photography, Photo SearchWhile Big Stock is not as popular as iStock or Google images, it still packs a powerful punch. The images are roughly the same price as iStock, and there is a little less variety, but overall it is a nice tertiary option when you cannot find the type of image you are looking for on the other two sites. One thing I notice about Big Stock is when you need a high quality image for printing you can get them a little cheaper at Big Stock. You need to purchase one of their larger credit packages to get the price lower, but when starting a business, $189 which gets you 140 credits goes a long way towards building out a quality website, along with a few print brochures.

By using the resources above you should be able to find the right image for each and everyone of your blog posts or website pages. Do not forget that a picture can tell a thousand words, so what are you missing out on by not including any images or the wrong image?

1800 Number Benefits

The debate goes on about whether or not to give your customers a toll-free number to call you on. There are good arguments on both side of the debate, but my opinion is yes, give your clients a way to contact you toll-free. There are some benefits to offering an 800 number to your clients if done properly:

1. It makes your company look bigger. If you are a home based internet business, having a toll free number makes you look like a larger corporation and might make transacting with you a little less scary.
2. It provides a tracking tool to you. Assuming you use an 800 number from a service like Whos Calling or Kall8, you will be able to track all the calls that came into you from that number. You can see who called you, how long you talked, etc. This is vitally important if you only offer your 800 number on your website. Being able to track the volume of calls allows you to track whether or not your website is working for you. You can also put unique 800 numbers on other marketing pieces (direct mail postcards, radio ads, television, banner ads, etc.)
3. Potentially easy to remember numbers. If you can get a vanity number with your company name, it might make it easier for people to call you if they do not have your number handy. For example, our toll free number is 888.WEB.NSNA. Someone may be able to recall that easier than 360.738.81188.
4. It shows you take customer service seriously. If you do sell product to people outside of your local area, it shows people that you stand behind your product and are willing to give people a free way of contacting you.
5. Many 800 numbers have features like voicemail, fax to email, call forwarding, caller ID, etc. So after business hours, you can have the 800 number forward to a cell phone, call center, etc. That way you can keep doing business even if you are not physically in the office.
If you sell strictly local, and do little to no online sales than the benefits of an 800 number may be few if any. However, with toll free numbers starting at $2 per month using Kall8, you might as well have one on the chance that you do get a new customer or retain a current customer because of that number.
In my opinion, make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with you and your company. If having an 800 number makes it easier for people to contact you, then do it.

Creating Effective Contact Us Pages

Creating a contact us page is essential when building an online presence through a website or a blog. It tends to be the page on your website with the least content, but is one of the most highly visited by your clients. Internet users have become accustomed to looking for a contact us page when searching for contact details like a phone number or address. Many website owners don’t give a second thought to the contact us page after it’s built. We ask you to give your contact us page a second glance with these best practices in mind.

What should I include on my contact us page?

General Contact Details

Telephone Number – Individuals often inquire as to how many phone numbers or what type of phone numbers should be included on the contact us page. Certainly the main office number and the fax number should be included. Beyond that additional numbers should be provided only if someone is available to answer them during the normal business hours.

Physical Address – Many businesses have moved to only providing an email and phone number as a source of contact, especially if they don’t have a physical office the client can visit. However, by providing an address you provide them the assurance you are local.

Email – In today’s modern world you need a contact email address. Even better it should be a domain name specific email address. For example, if your website is located at www.domain.com, your email address should be shane@domain.com rather than shane@yahoo.com or lovebug@yahoo.com. By having your email address as a hot link (changing shane@domain.com with mailto:shane@domain.com) clicking on the link opens the user’s email system with the To: line filled in with your email address. This helps avoid typos and other mistakes by the user.

Web Form – The downside of providing the email address is an increase in spam as your website gets more traffic. One way to avoid spam is to have a contact us web form rather than an email address. You can have CAPTCHA code [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captcha ] in order to prevent spam submissions to the form. Or you can place a web form as well other contact details in the contact us page like http://www.netsolutionsna.com/content/contact_us/contact_us.asp

Additional Details

Include a Photo – Include a photo of your brick and mortar building/office. If you don’t have a brick and mortar store, include a photo of your employees dressed in a manner that reflects the style of your company. If you are financial planners then a photo in professional attire, if you are a 70’s disco bar then break out the beads and platform shoes.

Staff Contact Details (optional) – For some smaller businesses, you can place the contact details for each of your primary employees on the contact us page. If you have more than 7-10 employees, consider a separate page for staff contact details.

Map – Google has made it very easy to link your clients directly to a map of your business and the surrounding area. Map Quest and others have made providing directions to your business even easier. The day and age of written instructions are long past, give the clients a direct link to an interactive map.

Final Thoughts

A contact us page will be visited by a large majority of your website users. Search engines love contact us information because it is usually current, and very relevant to the consumer. If you can make your contact us page simple and easy to use your clients will find it extremely valuable. So take your time, less is more, work to build the most effective contact us page you can find.

Get in Front of Your Customers At The Right Time With The Right Information

If you’re new to email marketing, or not using it at all, you’re probably wondering, “Why use a professional email marketing tool such as ProFusion Mailer? I can just CC all of my customers or contacts using Outlook.” It’s easy to run into issues when you try and send out big blocks of emails like that.

Here is a list of 6 reasons why an email marketing program like ProFusion Mailer works better than Outlook every time.

1. Each email you send has the possibility of not reaching your intended recipient. Instead, it could get trapped in the spam or junk mail folder. Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) block bulk emails, like those sent using Outlook and the CC approach, because they assume its spam. So, as your list grows, you need a program that’s built for email marketing, one that shows ISP’s that you are legitimate.

2. You want to tailor your email marketing with the look and feel of your Website. With the ProFusion Mailer you can use a template that connects with the look and feel of your site.

3. Email list management is key, it should be automated and EASY. If 15 people subscribed, 3 unsubscribed and 2 changed emails today how are you going to keep track of all that and run your business?

4. Being in front of the customer at the right time is far more valuable than frequent phone calls. With email marketing, you can track who opens and clicks on what, and where they go after they click; providing valuable insight into your customers likes and dislikes. These tracking features allow you to get creative with your email marketing campaigns; create polls, deliver reports, set up scheduled sending and auto-responders to make email marketing easy for you.

5. Like a marriage, which changes over time, so will your relationship with your customers change with time. Email marketers can tailor their message based on their relationship with customers sending different messages to newer clients and prospects. Personalizing your email messages with custom fields such as first names can increase your open rate by up to 650%.

6. You want to set expectations with new subscribers fast. When you have a new subscriber, wouldn’t it be great if they automatically received a response from you, saying thanks and offering options? Auto responders can be the email marketers’ magic trick.

With just a little work and planning ,you will quickly find that email marketing becomes your most effective and least expensive form of advertising.

Ride the Wave of Success through a Down Economy

Working with clients, I encounter a certain issue over and over again. When times are good for a company; marketing and communication seem to be put on the back-burner. When we approach them about our Search Engine Optimization services (being ranked higher in the major search engines) they look at us like we are crazy and typically elect not to market their site/business online. It has always baffled me that people are willing to spends thousands of dollars on a shiny new website, but hesitate to put a percentage of that money into driving additional traffic to it.

When times are tough, these companies start approaching us about our services once they realize that their competition is kicking their butt in placement on Google, Yahoo! and MSN. Since the client doesn’t have as much business as they used to, they look to us to get them ranked organically. The problem is that they want to be ranked #1 in the organic listings the next day.

Internet Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, or Online marketing; no matter what you call it, takes time. Marketing also costs money. One would think that when times are good, companies would put more money into marketing thus more likely managing to avoid the downturns all together. After all, is there really such a thing as too much business?

A great example of this persistent problem that I see often has to do with a family member of mine. Their business is Sport Fishing in Alaska with Black Rock Charters. Three years ago when we first put up the website I asked if they wanted to do Search Engine Marketing. They elected to put minimal effort/funds into marketing (which is more than most busy companies), simply because at the time they had more business then they could manage. In fact times were so good they added two additional boats to their fleet. For two years the boats were full 80-90% for the entire season. Then came 2008 and the boats were only full 70% of the time and now looking forward to Spring/Summer 2009 the boats are well below average bookings for this time of year.

Of course, the owner/family comes to me and is ready to work on their Online Marketing strategy, which is wonderful but a little late. If I had started 3 years ago, Organic Online Marketing would have had more than enough time to get grounded and the rankings would be here. Now we have to work twice as hard in a shorter period of time in order to get similar results.

What I hope is that others take this story into consideration when budgeting for marketing. Business always runs in a cycle, up one day, week, or year and down the next. Marketing allows you to make the highs higher, and the lows easier to endure. If you plan for the future, by establishing a budget for online marketing today you will be one step closer to business success.

A Favicon Shows You Care!

A Favicon (short for “favorites icon”) is a small 16×16 square icon that displays to the left of your URL in the internet browser window. Favicons are an important part of branding your website. A Favicon helps visually identify your site to new and returning users, and contributes to a sophisticated, professional look. A Favicon will also make your page stand out in a cluttered “favorites” folder. Your logo used as a Favicon will quickly become synonymous with your product.

The Favicon feature was developed by Microsoft and became a part of Internet Explorer from version 5.0 onward. Other browsers quickly followed, and all modern browsers should support this feature. As you can see in the graphic below, visitors who use modern tabbed browsing see your Favicon in the tab. Every page, including sub-pages and blog entries, shows the Favicon in the address bar. Internet Explorer does automatically use a generic icon which to a savvy Websurfer can look a bit negligent such as a title bar that says “Page Title” if it is not replaced with your own image. With a distinctive Favicon, pages from your site will stand out easily from other sites.

Are you Ready to join the Favicon bandwagon? Enhance your site with a Favicon for $30! Contact us for this special price.