Why Website Audits are Important

Website Audit

Not a day goes by that I’m not doing a website audit on a site somewhere. There are many reasons for a site audit. It may be for a prospect or client wondering about the specifics of their website’s strengths and weaknesses, a client’s search competitor who is doing better than they are and I need to learn why or simply because I’m down one of the many rabbit trails my day takes me and something about a website has my curiosity piqued.

For whatever reason, being able to quickly assess a website is crucial to me and my clients. So what am I looking for? I’m looking for all the ways that a website can help or hinder its pages to rank high in search results. I’m also looking for ways the content on the pages can be doing the same.

I recently compiled a review of web site auditor tools and for that I used the following matrix of audit information that each tool should be able to report: Continue reading

Why Social Media Hasn’t Worked for Many Businesses

iwannapunchuI have been quietly observing a large number of business professionals jumping into social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) as if it were a conveyor belt they can simply throw their product pitches onto. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

See if the following example sounds familiar and then check out the ways to leverage social media correctly to actually build a passive lead generation and reputation building machine.  Continue reading

2014 Spring Business Showcase

2014 Bellingham/Whatcom Spring Business Showcase trade show

One of the less congested aisles.

The 2014 Spring Business Showcase was held yesterday. This is a wonderful event produced by the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce. This year it was held at the new event center at Silver Reef Casino Hotel Spa.

Check out many of the exhibitors at the 2014 event (it was tough to take pictures for the should-to-shoulder crowd). I tried to take photos of all the exhibitors but found myself distracted by the food and wine samples being given out. So my apologies to those I missed.  Continue reading

End of the Organic Facebook Heyday

If you’ve been riding the Facebook wave to promote your business for the past few years it’s been quite an easy process. Build a fan base and then know that your posts will be visible to a good portion of these fans. It wasn’t unusual to achieve 40-50% reach back in the day. Then Facebook went public and began serving its stockholders. Continue reading

The Customer Is NOT Always Right

There’s an incredible mob mentality these days when something “wrong” is brought to light. Worse yet, people seem to crave this stuff. Just turn on your TV or radio and see/hear this stuff being pushed all day long. It used to be that we celebrated when things were “good.” No more. And it’s for this reason you can’t blame business owners for being fearful of the speed and depth of visibility that customer complaints can be made and viewed. We’re not perfect but if you’re practicing your “not perfectness” while trying to make a living, well then that just means there are double points for mocking and ridiculing your effort.

But wait … Perhaps not everyone is on board with this mob mentality.  Continue reading

Where Did My Heroes Go?

Several years ago, I traveled the search engine and online marketing trade show circuits and made friends with some very smart people in the space. Over time I was able to weed out those who simply were part of the marketing echo chamber (a great majority of the so-called “rockstars” fit this category) and others who really really thought for themselves, citing real data and experiences and developing notions and strategies that could and should be implemented. The latter group I would call my marketing heroes.

Over time my heroes’ value to businesses has grown to the point where they are now getting hired by Fortune 100 companies more than not. But this has ruined them for me. Back in the day, they were a God-send for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). They were immersed in the SMB world and had great empathy for their needs and requirements. Unlimited budgets weren’t part of that paradigm.

Now many of these heroes of mine are writing articles and blogging about much more philosophical topics and less about pragmatic effective strategies to be implemented on the cheap. But there are two exceptions to this worth pointing out.  Continue reading

Reclaim Control of your Website with this Owner’s Audit

website-owner-audit-form-tiltedAre you the owner of a company with a website being maintained by staff or contractors? What would happen if that staff or contractor became unreachable or, worse yet, began engaging in a vendetta against your company on your website? Are you in a position to assert your ownership and control of your website?

Or maybe the staff and/or contractors have moved on and you may need to hire someone else to step in and keep things working from time to time. Are you able to give them the access they need?

You may not know how to update your website but you still need to be able to hand over the keys to others who can. Providing the following information is how you do that. Take the time and locate and record the following information so you’ll never get locked out of your own online assets.

Click the button below to download this simple form to collect and record the different credentials required to assert control and ownership over your website.

How to Avoid the Mobile Website Mistake

mobile website - responsive designThere’s no denying it, your best prospects are researching their next purchases using their phones and other mobile devices (e.g. tablets) more and more than with their desktop computers. Whether looking for a nearby restaurant, gas station or ATM or deciding what features they need on their next grill or bicycle, your prospects are more likely to wipe out their portable device while sitting in their car, walking down the sidewalk and standing in the aisle in front of a similar product.

But what do they see when they visit your website on their portable devices? If you’re like most website owners, they see little itsy-bitsy text and difficult to tap links. In some instances, menus and other dynamic action elements won’t even function, leaving no way for your prospects to drill into your website to find what they want to buy. In short, they don’t see what they can work with and move on to your competitors’ websites.

There are two primary approaches to dealing with this.  Continue reading

Facebook is Getting into Search … Finally

Facebook Graph Search splashFacebook recently announced they are jumping into the all-so-important online realm of search. Frankly, I’ve been dismayed that they haven’t leveraged the search box on their site AT ALL. But now Facebook is announcing a specialized search feature (apparently separate from the general search box) called Graph Search. Continue reading