How to See Who is Linking to Your Website

I’ve said it before – an overwhelming majority of the business owners I meet these days want to talk about search engine optimization and Internet marketing. That’s fine by me. I love talking about it.

Last night I was at a networking event and was reminded of a very common theme that I have experienced lately: business owners are generally aware of the importance of inbound links (links from other websites to their website), but a lot of them (anecdotally, I’d estimate as many as 8 out of 10) don’t know any of the following:

  • How many links are pointing to their website
  • What links are pointing to their website
  • Exactly what pages on their website are the recipients of links

Read moreHow to See Who is Linking to Your Website

Google-Powered Search for Your Retail Site

If you run a retail website with lots (at least a few hundred) items in your catalog, Google just launched a new product that’s worth investigating. It’s called Google Commerce Search (GCS). I am not endorsing this product or being compensated for this blog post. I’m simply trying to inform you about this option.

According to Google, the concept behind GCS is simple – visitors take about 8 seconds to decide whether or not to stay on your website. And in that 8 seconds, a lot of people (over 40% according to this PDF from MarketingSherpa) perform a search to find the brand or product that they want. So if that many people rely on search to make their decision on whether to stay or go, then why not have that search powered by Google?

Read moreGoogle-Powered Search for Your Retail Site

Stop Doubting Video & Embrace It

I’m always amazed at business owners who doubt leveraging the awesome the power of video for their website. Although I experience it less these days, I still talk to enough doubting business owners to make me believe the world is not yet as convinced as it should be. Video is the future, if not the present, people!

In fact, I’m sort of embarrassed this blog is in text, not video, but bear with me. I’ll get there eventually.

When someone gets to your website, you have only a few precious seconds to convince them that A) your service is worth buying and B) more importantly, they should buy from you. If your website is loaded with novels of text that someone has to read in order to understand what your business is all about, forget it. No one will read it. You need to shorten your pitch by doing things like showing people via video the value of your product or service.

Today I came across  another great example of  a business leveraging the power of video. Surprisingly, it was done by a bank! Banks aren’t usually known for using social media effectively.

Here’s why this video is so great:

1.  Within 2-3 minutes, you know exactly how the product works AND that it’s ridiculously simple.

2.  USAA took something that might make some people apprehensive (mobile deposits) and used actual customers to ease any potential fears or hesitations about complexity or security. This is brilliant. What’s more powerful than seeing real people make those deposits in only a few seconds?

3. Existing USAA customers will undoubtedly see this app as a value-add while people that aren’t customers might reconsider.

    You can’t watch that video and not think that the service is very cool and a complete no-brainer.  Want proof? According to USAA’s Twitter account, $1.5 million has already been deposited using this new app in just three days.

    If your website is not using video to help sell your products or services, start thinking about it right away. And if you need help coming up with a video content plan, let us know.

    If you have other good examples of videos being used on websites you use, include a link in the comment section.

    San Diego Bowl Game Association Thanks Brand5

    San Diego Bowl Game Association Thanks Brand5We got a really nice letter from Rudy Castruita, President of the San Diego Bowl Game Association, thanking us for our work developing new websites for the Holiday Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl.

    Here’s a small excerpt from the letter:
    “Your creativity and professional approach to our new websites is greatly appreciated,” said Castruita. “You helped bring our organization to the next level with premiere Bowl websites. Your hard work is greatly appreciated.”

    Both Bowl games (held in December) were a huge success. Check out some of these numbers provided by the San Diego Bowl Game Association:

    • The Holiday Bowl played in front of their third largest crowd in history (64,020 fans).
    • The Holiday Bowl was the second most watched game on the ESPN schedule, reaching over 4.2 million households.
    • The Poinsettia Bowl had their best attendance ever with 39,129 fans.
    • TV ratings for the Poinsettia Bowl increased by more than 38% compared to 2006.

    It’s always a great feeling to be appreciated by our clients. We loved working on the two Bowl websites. The fact that the committee is so pleased is a testament to our team’s proven strategy: this business is all about being dedicated to hard work and service.