A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Have you ever heard the saying "you never have a second chance to make a good first impression"? It applies to your web site and the initial impression visitors get when they go to the homepage of your web site. Your wording and graphics need to grab the attention of the reader and make them want to navigate through your web site to learn more about your services. A good example is http://smilesunlimited.ca - Smiles Unlimited Dental Centre. Their name says exactly what they're about, the graphic shows a woman with a beautiful smile, and they have the word "smiles" in large print embedded in the header. Right under the header, are the words "An Affordable Coquitlam Dentist" which will entice visitors to read further. Is your graphic selling for you?

Set Yourself Apart From Your Competition

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Setting yourself apart from your competition is key to your success. Consumers have a vast array of web sites to visit and compare services - you need to "stand out" in the crowd. I was surfing the web and came across a web site http://danielamaltauro.com/ of a Psychotherapist who clearly defined who she was and why people should choose her services. In her top navigation bar she has a link to "My Approach". In this section, Daniela clearly defines herself and why she's the right person for the job based on her approach. Are you standing out in a crowd of web sites?


Is Your Web SIte Design Outdated?

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, May 21, 2015
I was surfing the web researching one of my client's competitors, and I came across a web site for Titan Transline Inc at http://titantransline.com/ The site design is a little outdated, but as I started to review their services, I realized it was a very functional site with many features. If you visit the site, the right hand side bar has a Quick Quote graphic linking to their form - it is one of the first things you see on the page. Their phone number is "in your face" (I constantly hear complaints about web sites that make you search for their contact information), and they have a Contact Us Form you can submit right from the homepage.

The top navigation bar is very clearly laid out, and easy to maneuver. Once again, their phone number is embedded in the navigation bar. They've included downloadable forms, an FAQ, industry news and more. It is a very well thought out site design. It just goes to show that while it's important to keep your web site design updated, you can have an older design which is very functional and offers many features to bring in sales.

Increase Your Credibility With Customer Testimonials

Barbara Spagnola - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It's all about credibility and building trust - and customer testimonials can be an effective marketing tool if they're done right. Statistics show that consumers read testimonials before deciding which business to hire. Prospects want to know you're a legitimate business, with happy customers - and they want to hear it firsthand from the customer.

Your testimonials need to be convincing, and most of all, honest quotes about the quality of your service and/or product. Video testimonials of happy customers are an excellent way to gain credibility; it's not just words on a page.  Watching a customer talk about your company and get excited about their results is one of the best selling tools for your company. Take a look at the site for Kim Alvarez, http://kimalvarez.ca/ . In the middle of her home page, she has 5 customer video testimonials showcasing what she has accomplished for each. This makes a great impression and they are actually selling for her through these videos.



How are People Going to Do Business with You if They Can't Find Your Contact Information?

Barbara Spagnola - Sunday, May 17, 2015

I was surfing the web a few days ago looking at different web sites for a client. What I saw was something of an "eye opener"! I found many sites that would pertain to my client; however, 3 out of the 5 web sites didn't have contact information, other than an e-mail, on their site. If you want people to feel "warm and fuzzy" about using your services, they're going to want to know your physical address and see a phone number. It was refreshing to see a web site, http://grandrivermoving.com/ , list all of their locations and phone numbers on their home page - there is no poking around the site or guessing which section the contact information might be in. Another example, is Clay's Lawn and Snow, http://bluegrasssodinstalled.ca/ . Again, in bold letters on their homepage is their phone number, both in the body of the homepage, as well as, the top right hand corner of every page.

I can't stress enough the importance of making all of your information available on your site. It should contain your company name, address, phone, fax, e-mail and social media. If you want your site to sell your services, you need to make your visitors feel comfortable in knowing they can reach you easily. Would you do business with a company who's only method of communication is through e-mail?


Make Your About Us Page Stand Out From Your Competition

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, May 12, 2015
An About Us page is one of the most important components yet is often underrated. You might not think anyone is reading it, but your statistics will probably prove you wrong. It's one of the most visited pages on our web site...and many of my clients sites. Potential customers are looking for information on your company and the services you offer. They want to know what makes you stand out from your competition. An example of a good About Us page is http://jterealestate.com where the owner highlights, not only himself, but all of his accolades, customer testimonials and a timeline of his business.

An About Us page should be a storyline on how the company started, what it's achieved and where it's going with products and services. It should talk about the person behind it and create a bonding using words. Including a couple testimonials will strengthen the bond and build relationships. Is your About Us page working for you; it might be time to take another look at it.

Why Are Testimonials So Effective On Web Sites?

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Testimonials on your website will produce more sales than most sales pitches and sales copy, but why are they so effective? Written in the customers words, it is an unbiased opinion on your products and/or services - and it can't get much better than that.

You want testimonials that will tell your prospects the features and benefits of your offerings. I was surfing the web a few days ago and came across the web site of Aeroseal Solutions, www.aerosealsolutions.ca , which has testimonials right on their home page. The testimonials not only told me that they had a great service from the company, they offered specific details of how it improved their air quality in their homes. Are you using testimonials on your site and, more importantly, are your customers testimonials selling for you?

When You Need to Sell Yourself on Your Web Site

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, May 11, 2015

Speakers, business consultants, Mentors, Coaches, etc. must have a compelling web site that not only sells their products, but sells themselves as well. In many cases, there are multiple products and services being offered, and it's difficult to create a site that doesn't have information overload. Your site layout is key!

Take a look at Garry Bizzo's web site, CEO For Hire in Vancouver. Gary touches on all aspects of his business in his top bar of the site:  Gary Bizzo, Management Consultant, Business Mentor, Coach and CEO for Hire. He chose to highlight his Amazon E-book, with a "Buy the book, here!" at the top of his home page; making it visible to everyone who comes in the site immediately - a key advertising spot. Also notice his top bar includes links to all sections of his site that are clearly defining his products and services - there's no "cute phrases" making people guess at what he offers.

Visitors want to be sold on your site, but they don't want to have to navigate multiple pages just to find out about your offering. Keep it clean, concise and to the point.

Does Your Logo Create Brand Awareness?

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, May 11, 2015

I can't stress enough about creating a logo that defines your brand - a logo sticks in the mind of your web site visitors, customers and prospects. Wallace Living has a logo that is an example of a clean, crisp logo that also defines their industry at the same time. Using their company initials, this apartment and retirement living web site also included a "roof top" over the initials creating awareness of the industry they're in. It's simple, colorful and defines what they're about.

Medical Foot Solutions combines their logo, company name, and a creative slogan - an excellent way to brand their company. It's crisp, with more monotone colors, yet it makes a statement. This combination will work on a variety of print and digital products. While the colors are subtle, it will never get lost on a page, and it allows you to use more colorful graphics, text, etc. to compliment it.

Is your logo working for you?



Tips for Creating a Catchy Slogan

Barbara Spagnola - Sunday, May 10, 2015

Every day we see thousands of catch phrases in print, television ads and online.. Some slogans we recognize immediately while others go unnoticed. Here are a few tips on how to create a slogan that will gain brand awareness.

1. Your slogan needs to identify with your name or brand.
2. Convey your message in terms that people identify with; don't make people try to guess who you are.
3. Stand out from your competitors - set yourself apart by being original.
4. Don't over think it - keep it simple and get your point across in a few words.

I came across a site yesterday, http://theanswer.ca , who had a very creative, yet simple, slogan: "Celebrating Curves for 28 Successful Years". It's positive, upbeat and lets me know that their business is successful and has been around for 28 years. That's a powerful statement. Is your slogan working for you?