Author: Bill Simpson

Bill Simpson is a writer whose philosophy of creating marketing materials is to “Write from the other side of the table.” That means that it’s better for a business to focus on the wants and needs of its customers than to talk about how wonderful the business is (or thinks it is). When he’s not writing, he’s probably running or gardening.
SEO – Always Changing And Always Necessary For A Successful Website

SEO – Always Changing And Always Necessary For A Successful Website

When you have a website, and potential customers are searching for a business that offers the products and services that you do, a well designed SEO program will help to bring those potential clients to your site. You can think of SEO as a match game for you and prospective customers, and without a good SEO program, many potentially profitable matches may not happen for you.

By definition, SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results, which are results that occur naturally, not as a result of an advertisement that you’ve bought.

To keep your site working effectively, it’s absolutely necessary to refresh your SEO strategy on a regular basis to match the methods people are using to find you, because those methods aren’t the same as they were 5 or 10 years ago. Continue reading

What’s Your Brand?

Wooo!

Ric Flair
“Ric Flair created a brand for himself that people around the world recognize and celebrate.”

With that expression and an outlandish personality, Ric Flair created a brand for himself that people around the world recognize and celebrate.  Flair was a wrestler who branded himself The Nature Boy, and he used his brand to become famous and to distinguish himself from hundreds of other, less memorable wrestlers.

The main components of Flair’s brand, in addition to Wooo!, were his flashy hair and clothing, his habit of surrounding himself with beautiful women, his ability to give a great interview, and, finally, his willingness to put on a great show inside the squared circle every night.  Put all of those factors together, and you have a memorable brand that put people in the seats and money in Flair’s pocket.

Ric Flair is unusual because he’s a one-man brand. Most other successful brands belong to companies with more than one employee.  However, whether your business has 1 employee or 1000, you can certainly benefit from developing your brand. Conversely, you’ll suffer from not having a brand. Continue reading

Is Print Still Effective? | Header

Is Print Still Effective?

As a web design company, we obviously know the absolute necessity of having a hard-working website. We also know that if your website is your only marketing tool, you’ll be missing some excellent opportunities to keep your name in front of your customers. Even in our electronic world, there’s a place for many other forms of marketing, and one very effective way of communicating with potential and established customers is a print newsletter.

Yes, printing and mailing add costs that you won’t experience with an electronic newsletter, but those costs will give you benefits that an electronic newsletter just can’t match, and, you can still place your newsletter on your website and email it as well. Continue reading

Write Clearly - It’s Better For Your Business | Header

Write Clearly – It’s Better For Your Business

A friend recently told me about a newspaper ad that he had seen. In it, a chain of stores included this curious qualifier in the small print *Not available in all stores.

If all stores don’t have the item, why is the chain advertising it?

Obviously, the message that the chain is trying to send is that SOME stores don’t have the item. The intended message, that the item is available here and there, but not everywhere, would be completely clear if the small print would simply say *Not available in SOME stores.

And that brings up another question: Do I really want to travel to a store in the chain, only to find that the store doesn’t have the item that I want? That experience would not make me happy, and such rudeness might discourage me from shopping at any of the chain’s stores again. Overall, this is a poorly worded ad. The company should make sure that the item is available in all stores, or else focus on some other piece of merchandise that is everywhere. Continue reading

Grow Your Business By Creating Your Own Story | Header

Grow Your Business By Creating Your Own Story

Here’s some good news for businesses: Media outlets are looking for your story, and when they run it, you’ll get free publicity.

Every newspaper has column inches that it needs to fill with copy and pictures, and every TV station has minutes of air time that it wants to fill with stories about local people who are succeeding in business or doing wonderful things for their communities. Continue reading

Let’s Make English The Official Language of Business - Header

Let’s Make English The Official Language of Business

We often hear discussions about making English the official language of all government business in the United States. Maybe we should also think about making plain, understandable English the official language of business websites and all business writing.

Businesses frequently write in jargon that’s specific to their industries, and if they’re selling to a general audience, that’s not good for sales. If I can’t understand your website’s writing, I won’t know how you can improve my life, so I probably won’t call you. With that in mind, take a look at this copy from a website and see if you know how the business will improve your life:

Unleash your team by releasing them from all the administrative functions that technology can now provide. We specialize in technology integration solutions in very large enterprise applications or small custom web solutions including the web design & dvelopment*, SDLC, process redesigns, contact center technologies, digital commerce, and social media.

*Yes, the “e” is missing on the website.

Huh? Even after reading this several times, I don’t have a clear understanding of what the business does. I can figure out the first sentence, although “performs” would be a more appropriate verb than “provides”. That second sentence, however, is a real mystery, and a writer who assumes that I know what SDLC means certainly doesn’t know me. Continue reading

Politeness Is Always A Virtue -- Especially For Websites - Header

Politeness Is Always A Virtue — Especially For Websites

Christmas is coming, and Christmas means gifts. People will be giving, and people will be receiving. Recently, I was discussing gift-giving etiquette with some business colleagues, and it turned out to be an interesting exchange, particularly when the conversation turned to the proper etiquette of receiving a gift.

gift giving Because of the hyper-sensitive attitudes of many people these days, one business owner asked how she can be sure that she won’t offend anyone with a gift that she gives. I said that my belief is that the person who should be concerned with not offending anyone is the person who receives the gift. It is, after all, a gift, and no one gives something with the intention of offending a person. Continue reading

Blogging for Your Website

When did you last update your blog? If your answer is along the lines of, “I think it was 2013, but it may have been 2012,” then it’s time for you to do something about your blog, and we’ll give you two good choices of what that something should be.

Blogging - WordPress First, you can simply take down your blog. That’s not the ideal choice because blogging is an excellent marketing tool and a good way to keep your clients updated on all the exciting new ways in which you can help them improve their lives. It also can help improve your search rankings as fresh content helps your website keep up to date, and adding quality content can enhance your website’s user experience. Continue reading