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Tom Marin

Building Brands

By Tom Marin

About Tom

Tom Marin is the managing partner of MarketCues.com and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.

 

What are the Foundations of a Solid Website?

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I am often asked what it takes to ensure that a website is well constructed and designed to produce a strong return on investment and results. Of course, that’s a difficult question with a complicated answer based on the specific type of results that are desired. Seeing results from lead generation and qualifying best prospects are common objectives that businesses often look for. Here are some points to consider in determining what should be included in your website to start producing the results you are looking for:

A. Include a Blog. A blog is a terrific way to start a dialog with potential customers and to position you and your organization as a thought leader. It will allow you to express your thoughts, opinions and suggestions regarding topics that directly pertain to your business. How often? One blog per week is a great place to start with a four to six paragraph blog, and if you include a photo be sure to add a photo caption that explains what the photo is about so the search engines can index both.

B. Content Is King. The more relevant the copy is on your website, the better this positions you as a leader in your market space and increases your standing with the search engines. They will reward you with high page ranks if you stick to this simple practice. Also, new copy being added each week is another way to stay highly relevant to the search engines. Overt time, Google, MSN and Yahoo search engines will index your pages so when someone searches for information that matches, your website will show up.

C. Resolve Your Website Based on 1 Major Keyword. This is a tough one. Pick a word your website is best known for like “branding” and write to that topic in your blog titles, sub-titles and text. Consistently following this simple principle will also alert the search engines that you are an expert in this area and they will reward you for your contextual consistency.

D. Build the Number of Inbound Links. These are links from websites that are linked to yours. The more of these you have the better, and the more their overall content has to do with your website’s overall content the better. This is a competitive game. If your nearest competitor has 1,000 relevant inbound links to its website and yours has 25, guess who gets the lion's share of search traffic?

E. Build a Strong Social Media Program. I often hear from B2B executives that they don’t think social media is relevant to their businesses and that they are suspect of the benefits social media can bring to their organizations. This usually reminds me of the company that didn’t believe in advertising until they were going out of business and needed a way to tell people that there were assets for sale so they ran advertisements and posted a sign near their business. If only they had done those things to brand their business perhaps they would have been able to stay in business. Same goes for social media. Pick the media channels that make the most sense and build the most relevant communities.

F. How Well Is Your Website Designed? Often ignored as less than important, the design of a website directly influences how much time each guest spends on your website. If the average visitor spends less than 1 minute on your website and your website has a 50% or more bounce rate, then its time to rethink your website design.

Receiving top marks in all of these areas takes time, diligence and expertise and does not happen overnight. You must be willing to spend consistent time and attention to the development of your website, refresh weekly and be relevant to your core customer audience. If you do, you can build up traffic that can be profitable for your company.

6 steps
1. Create a relevant blog.
2. Create often and create relevant copy.
3. Focus your website content.
4. Increase inbound links.
5. Social media, not random ads.
6. Design your website with a contemporary look. 

Tom Wants to Hear Your Branding Issues:
If you are a printing company, or product/services company serving the industry, and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.

Follow MarketCues on Twitter for branding and social media tips, as well as the latest trends. Tom also welcomes emails, new LinkedIn connections, calls to 407.330.7708 or visit www.marketcues.com. How can he help solve your branding issues?
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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Kelly - Posted on May 13, 2010
Tom, As someone starting a new business, the daunting task of the website is upon me, and boy am I overwhelmed! This article gave me a lot to think about and I am going to have it handy as I sit down to plot out what my site wil be all about. Thanks for this great blog!
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Archived Comments:
Kelly - Posted on May 13, 2010
Tom, As someone starting a new business, the daunting task of the website is upon me, and boy am I overwhelmed! This article gave me a lot to think about and I am going to have it handy as I sit down to plot out what my site wil be all about. Thanks for this great blog!