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The current economic downturn in the U.S. is hurting many clients. We think that you can not just wait for the storm to pass, but must work to survive in the rain. We also think that our clients who take a long view and who work hard now will be in the best shape when the economy recovers. Lastly, we think that the Internet is the most cost effective way to promote many businesses.
In this newsletter we discuss a free offer from Webconsuls, some ideas that may help your web site generate more business, and a case study of a site revision done with one of our clients, the Lodge at Moosehead Lake. We also highlight new clients well as the redesigns for some current clients.
A Free Offer From Webconsuls
We know that the text on many of our client’s sites is outdated. We also know that many of our clients have been very busy running their businesses and just have not had the time to review their sites and bring their text up to date. And we have had nominal charges for text revisions.
In this downturn you may be less busy and may have the time to review your site. We are suspending our charges for text updates on our clients’ web sites.
So go through your site, see what text needs to be changed, what can be enhanced. Do you have new testimonials to add? Prices to change? Services to add? Staff members to change?
Email your changes to Dick (email@example.com), Judy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dennis (email@example.com). We will review them and schedule the changes as soon as possible. If your change request is beyond just a text change, then we will discuss any possible charges before making the change.
Improve Your Web Site
Your web site can probably be enhanced. While we can not make major changes for free, we will try to do them as inexpensively as possible. Here are some ideas:
- Start and maintain a blog: A blog is a relatively easy way for you to add content to your site and provide current information. Since the search engines love content, more relevant content could bring in more visitors and more visitors could be more business. Your blog is only limited by your creativity. A hospitality site may want to write about seasonal changes in the area, a lawyer may want to write about a successful resolution to a case or perhaps the implications of a major ruling. You could use a blog to mention special limited time pricing. Our experts can help you set up the blog and teach you how to maintain it. We provide an on-line tutorial for participating clients. The maintenance is easy and you might even find it to be fun.
- Add video to your site and/or youtube.com: The search engines are starting to integrate video results with their search results. So a video may provide more visitors and then more business. Visitors may also stay on your site longer to look at an interesting video and that could enhance your sites performance. There are relatively inexpensive video cameras that do a great job for web video. Our experts can discuss the process with you and get your started. Again you may find it to be easy and fun.
- Upgrade Your Website:Does your site reflect well on your business today? Does it reflect well on you? How does it compare to your competitors? A site that looked great in the past may be outdated today. So when you are reviewing your text, also review your look. We can not build new sites for free, but we can work with you to upgrade your look and we will do our best to keep the costs down. Another advantage to a redesign is your site may have built in a way that is considered old-fashioned today. The sites we build today take advantage of techniques that were not available a few years ago which do not change the look of the site but allow the site to load faster which makes it more “search engine friendly.”
- Get involved with Social Media: You have probably heard of the most popular social media sites, such as facebook and myspace. Once mainly associated with teen and young adults, these sites are now used by people of all ages. The social media sites are not used to directly market your business, but to reach people, make them aware of your business, and then they may make the people they reach aware as well. Some of the popular Social Media sites: LinkedIn: Facebook: Twitter:
A Case Study in Refreshing Your Website…
Lodge at Moosehead Lake Buying an existing business in today’s world also includes inheriting a web presence. On June 1, 2007, Linda and Dennis Bortis left the corporate environs and fulfilled a life-long dream by purchasing The Lodge at Moosehead Lake and becoming innkeepers. As if this change in lifestyle were not enough, what with learning a new trade and familiarizing oneself with this beautiful property, Linda and Dennis soon felt that their website did not do the property justice. But what to do?
When Linda and Dennis first contacted Webconsuls, we explained that the current site had been designed and built per the specifications of the previous owner/innkeeper. Our best advice was to take time to get to know the website, its contents, navigation, good features and not so good features. In other words, get comfortable with your new life and keep copious notes on how you want to enhance the site.
Over the past 20 months, Linda and Dennis have done just that. They prioritized their goals and learned the business of inn-keeping. As time went by, Linda sent us new text, new photos, had us create new pages and became a blogger. But in December 2008 Linda approached us with her vision of a redesign of her home page. Given the economic times we all now face, Linda and Dennis felt sure they could not and should not invest in a whole new website, but they could tell their story better. That is, they could offer their website visitors dramatic photos of both Moosehead Lake and the lodge. Linda also new she needed to make the home page a virtual invitation to “check out” the entire site.
The lesson here is that Webconsuls cannot run your business and we certainly cannot know every detail about your business. The relationship that Webconsuls seeks to have with their clients is one of mutual respect and coordinated effort to present your business in its best light. Linda and Dennis represent some of the best in understanding this symbiotic relationship. Here are a few helpful hints:
- Really study your site, not just the text and photos, but the flow
- Learn about how to reach new guests, like newsletters, press releases, join organizations and associations. Don’t be afraid to brag about your property.
- Study your statistics and analytics
- Learn how to take good photos and how to upload them in your Picasa account.
- Obtain feedback from your guests or customers.
The new look and feel of the home page is dramatic. It took a while to get to this point with many phone calls, emails, documents, testing, but now Linda reports: “I’m getting a lot of great comments on my home page. The lodge was full for Valentine’s but one room and we had 38 for dinner – higher than any other special dining night since we got here.” This is all great news and while the website refresh was not free, it was affordable and obviously it is producing a good return on their investment (ROI).
We welcome some new clients:
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Synergy Group Services is a family/physician owned and operated drug and alcohol rehab center, located in beautiful West Palm Beach, Florida. Their caring physicians and trained rehab specialists provide the nurturing environment needed for effective addiction treatment.
Unity Recovery Center in Hobe Sound, Florida has an objective of providing the highest quality personalized drug and alcohol addiction treatment services available at an affordable price.
Hope by the Sea is a Southern California Drug Rehab center located in San Juan Capistrano that offers individualized treatment programs for drug rehab at reasonable cost because addiction and alcoholism affect everybody.
Wonderful Windows does window cleaning in Orange County California. They have told us : “In the first week of putting my new website online I received three new customers that can turn into regular business. Webconsuls rocks !!!”
In addition to the Lodge at Moosehead Lake we have recently redesigned several client sites.
Lasting Recovery is San Diego’s Premier Intensive Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center. Lasting Recovery helps men and women interrupt the emotional turmoil and destructive pattern of alcohol and drug abuse. We assist individuals to reclaim their health, build self-esteem, heal their relationships and develop strong relapse prevention skills.
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