Archive | March, 2009

Is Your Website Outdated? Here’s the Sure-Fire Measuring Stick.

The internet has been changing my friends as new stars are rising to the top of the search engines. The question today is, “Is your website outdated?” Your reaction may be, “Well, of course not. I have my phone number and business name there. It’s good.” Let’s take a closer look at the measuring stick.

There are actually several measuring sticks, namely: Google, Yahoo, and MSN. That’s right, the major search engines. I guess you could include AOL, Alta Vista, and all the others as well. But, “What does that have to do with my website?”, you ask. Let’s use Yahoo.com to illustrate our example. When you look at the website, what are the defining characteristics: clean, easy to read, 3-dimensional buttons, organized, and exciting. It makes you want to get involved and click on something. It’s a dynamic page. 

Now, what happens when someone goes to Yahoo and does a search for your website, as soon as your site comes up, the viewer is subconciously comparing that site to the last one he or she came from. Here’s the point, if someone trusts Yahoo.com enough to deliver them the best results for what they’re looking for, shouldn’t your site reflect the professional quality of Yahoo so you can ride on their credibility? Of course. 

Your site need to be up to par with what the search engines are doing. Google is also very simplistic, however, the subtleties of the design give it dynamic overtones. If the search engines make your site look outdated, it’s time for an upgrade. 

Before I close this out, here’s a great example:

I went to Yahoo.com and did a search for auto repair and here are two sites that came up on the first page:

1. www.carcarecolorado.com/colorado-car-repair.com.htm

2. www.autozone.com

The difference is huge. Were are you going to go first for your auto parts? I’ll let you answer that. Does it cost an arm and a let to get a slick site like that done? No way. Who do you think gets more business? They both showed up on the first page of the search results? You be the judge. 

Have a look over your website. Is it time for an upgrade? Maybe it is. You can find web designers all over the place who can do a decent job revising your site. And hey, if you’d like me to have a look over your current website, shoot me an email at info@nateburgoyne.com. I’d be glad to give it a look and tell you what I think.

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What’s the Right Business to Start in a Recession?

Interesting question. The economy is down, but does that mean we have to hide under our bads until someone bails us out? No Way. Then what’s the right business to start in a recession? After a little research I found some interesting information that may shed some light on the question. According to www.insidecrm.com, the following 14 businesses started during a recession: Hyatt Corp., Burger King Corp., IHOP Crop., The Jim Henson Company, LexisNexis, FedEx Corp., Microsoft Corp., CNN, MTV Networks, Trader Joe’s, Wikipedia Foundation Inc., Sports Illustrated, GE, and Hewlett-Packard Development Company LP. (Click here for article.) Holy smokes, what a diverse group of businesses! There’s everything from pancakes to computers there.

So, where should you begin? Well, Young Entrepreneur posted a poll recently that resulted that the #1 business that participants thought was best to start right now was an online business. (Poll) I couldn’t agree more. If not a completely online business, at least a business that is marketed heavily through the internet. Honestly, how many of us actually get in our car a drive around town to look for the best deal on a TV anymore? We get on the internet, especially during a recession. By time you drive all over town to find the cheapest price, you’ve already burned off your discount in gas. We’re all looking online for what we need. 

Back to the answer, what’s the right business to start in a recession? Like I always say, “market your passion”. A great place to start is with a brainstorm about what you really love to do. Think of something you’re really passionate about. Then, find a market where you’re needed and fill the need.

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Who Has the Advantage The Little Guy or the Big Guy?

If you ask me, it’s the little guy that has the upper hand when it comes to competing online. Although, some bigger companies are actually quick to make decisions, most are slow and to start competing online. With the internet in constant evolution, the smaller companies are quick to adapt to change and market online.

For example: A small cake decorator launches an online marketing campaign to get business. Two days after launching the campaign, the cake decorator learns that Google looks favorably on blogs. So, the cake decorator quickly makes a blog and in about 30 minutes the small guy is still ahead of the game.  Now, contrast that with the big cake decorating company that launches a campaign and gets the same news. Well, they have to bring it to the boss in a special meeting, then talk it over, take a vote, decide who’s going to hire the blog designer, and what should be posted there, and on and on and on. Meanwhile the little guy swept in a stole the online market. 

Does this mean the big guys are automatic losers at the online game? No way. If they can act quick and be proactive about their online marketing, they’ve got it made. Like I’ve said before, the playing field is wide open, it’s just a matter of who’s willing to step up and accept the business.

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Why Are Companies Big and Small Now Turning To Online Marketing?

There’s been an interesting trend recently in that companies of all sizes are taking a serious look at what online marketing can do for business. I was talking with a Realtor the other day who was telling me about how his broker, Prudential Realty,  had hired the services of an internet marketer I’m familiar with and, since then, their conversion has increase hundreds of times over.  Why? Is it the real estate market finally changing? Not yet.  The power of the internet is what made the change, and in my opinion, those who correctly make use of the world wide web are the ones who are going to swim while others sink. 

Consumers are traveling less and surfing the web more. If they can do their research at home on the internet, which is part of their cable bill anyway, why drive all over town wasting gas looking for the best deal? Time and energy are too valuable. Personally, I buy and sell real estate as a side business, and in fact, the last property that I bought and sold was done all from the comfort of my home computer. I never saw the property in person. I don’t even know what my Realtor looks like. The purchase and the sale were all done online.  Okay, I did drive to the title company to sign the deed in person but that was it.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, harness the power of the internet and you’re light years ahead of the competition. And the truth is, the field is wide open… it doesn’t matter how big or small your company is or how many years you’ve been in business; if you aggressively market online, you can rise to the top.

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The Nate Update…. What am I up to now?

Most of you know I’m an avid surfer. If I’m not on the water, I’m doing what I can to create time to get out there. My wife surfs and my little girls come out with us as well. Anyway, we all went to the beach this morning but but the condidtions are junk, so I’ve got time to write another post. 

It’s always a strange question to me when people ask, “So, Nate, what do you do for work?” Most of the time I end up replying with a sort of puzzled look as I try to decide if they are asking me about my latest project or if they’re asking me what I go in general. Well, it usually comes out somethink like this, “I have help businesses and individuals start businesses online or aggressively market their existing businesses.” That usually about covers it. But I know, you want to know what projects I’m currently working on. 

Well, one of my latest projects is a site called www.thebestbuytoday.com. It’ve been really excited about it and so far it’s been a rolling success. The site caters to businesses that either have overstock investory or services that they would like to unload, or would like to sell a particular product at a discount simply to boost cash flow, build a list, or make some extra sales.  Many of todays buyers are benefit driven. They want to know what’s in the deal for them when they buy something. The campaigns that we’re organizing through www.thebestbuytoday.com are totally driven by showing the customer exactly what’s in it for them when they buy. It’s exciting stuff. Like all my sites, they will be constanty evolving but you can check out today’s version at www.thebestbuytoday.com. 

There was a lot or research that went into the development of the site, domain name, etc… I’ll let the cat out of the bag later about how and why I put it together how I did. Have a  great day everyone!

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