Improve your website with these 3 things every customer wants

Hey folks! Welcome to your one-minute tip! Today I wanted to be inspired by the Port of San Francisco, which is where I am. You can see the beautiful Bay Bridge behind me to talk to you about really easy updates that you can make to your website to get better customer satisfaction.

1. Make it easy to contact you:

So the very first thing is to add your phone number or a large Contact Us button to the very top of your website on every single page so customers don’t have to hunt and search to contact you.

For an intermediate step, you can also add a live chat on your website which you can sync to your smartphone to connect with your website visitors in real time.

website marketing

2. Post your hours of operation:

Especially important for brick and mortar businesses,  add your hours of operation either to the very top of your website or at least to your contact page. A lot of people are searching for your hours of operation and you don’t want to leave them frustrated.

3. Help people find you with a map

For those of you with a local business or store front, be sure to add a Google map so people can get directions and find out exactly where your business is located.

That’s your One Minute Tip. Thanks for watching. And if you found this valuable, please consider sharing with your network and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and never miss a tip. Thank you.

How to market your business – using only your smart phone

Today’s question comes from Joy who is wondering,

How do I market my business online just using my smart phone? I don’t have a laptop yet.


Joy, that’s a great question. I know you run a jewelry business – congratulations on that!

So what you want to do is change your thinking: You’re not at a disadvantage not having a laptop. In fact, your smart phone has more power than laptops from 10 years ago.

Step One for Mobile Marketing: Create as much content as you can

Start creating multimedia using your phone; think photos and videos. Some ideas for creating content could be:

  • You can take pictures before, during and after your jewelry making process.
  • You can take photos of people wearing your jewelry.
  • Small videos on how to repair jewelry.
  • Videos or images of how to wear jewelry- with what clothes, shoes etc.

One of the biggest obstacle people face typically with web marketing is creating visual content and you’ve got all that power in the palm of your hands.

Step Two for Mobile Marketing: Be present where your customers are

The second thing is setting up accounts where people are going to see your wonderful content.

Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook are three really great accounts to get for your business.

Download those apps and start uploading your content there all the time.

Instagram is rolling out a “Buy Now” button. Facebook already has one and Pinterest also has that coming out in the States and hopefully soon will be in Canada as well.

Takeaway: You can start selling your products directly on these social media networks.

It’s very important, once you’ve got those profiles set up on both those accounts, to “optimize” them so to generate sales for you.

Some ways to optimize your profiles could be:

  • Indicate in your profile how people can actually purchase your product.
  • How they can contact you
  • Your shipping and return policies.

smartphone marketing

Step three for mobile marketing: Create your community.

And my last tip is, go out and engage with people strategically.

So perhaps fashion boutiques or people who do make up. Or anybody that has the same customer base that you would want for yourself.

And also use hashtags.

Use “#YYJ” for the local Victoria hashtag. #jewelry, #fashion, #style, etc. Experiment with hashtags to see which ones draw the most likes and comments on your photos.

That’s your One Minute Tip.

If you found this valuable, please consider sharing with your network. And if you never want to miss a tip, subscribe to my YouTube channel and you’ll get a tip a week in your inbox.

Thanks so much for watching!

3 Tips to Grow and Enrich Your LinkedIn Network

building-your-linkedin-networkHaving a strong LinkedIn network is very beneficial to your professional career. It can help you land a job, learn new things and make new connections that you never thought would be possible. Although many professionals have a LinkedIn profile, many are still not taking full advantage of the social network. The following are three proven ways to grow and enrich your network on LinkedIn:

1. Go to Events & Take People for Coffee (Add people in the moment)

The most fundamental way to grow your LinkedIn network is also the most old school, but going to events gives you a chance to meet unique individuals with many different backgrounds. Instead of bombing out random add requests on LinkedIn, make real human connections first, before adding anyone. Once you’ve made the initial interaction, consider taking the new connection for coffee. Even if the individual doesn’t work in your field, bring a list of random questions as there is still likely something to be learned or another networking opportunity may present itself. An under-utilized strategy for events and coffee meetings is bringing out your smart phone and adding people with the LinkedIn app on the spot. That way you won’t forget, or have to remember cards or emails.

2. Engage with Your Network (comment, like, share, endorse or recommend)

Similar to all other social networks, you cannot expect anyone to engage with you if you aren’t engaging first. More active members of your network will likely share original composition posts which are great for commenting on with your thoughts, or sharing the post with your network. These posts will allow you to get your profile out to more people, in a shorter amount of time. Less active networks will share trending articles, memes, videos or inspirational messages and liking or commenting on these types of posts will show your support for the author but it can also open up the opportunity for other LinkedIn members to see your profile and connect. If you’ve worked directly with a connection for some time, consider endorsing one or a few of their skills and if you’d really like to show your support, write a personal recommendation. These are all ways to ensure your profile stays active and relevant.

3. Share Original Content

Once you feel comfortable with the size and engagement of your network, it’s time to start
sharing original content. The best way to share your ideas is with LinkedIn’s publisher feature. Don’t focus on the length so much as the content on the page. Write about topics you have first hand experience in and do your best to provide real world value that can be applied by anyone who has the drive. Adapt your content overtime as you may notice that some topics tend to be more popular than others. Interviewing a colleague or friend is a great place to start if you can’t come up with any unique ideas to write about. If you already have some writing experience, you can use these posts to showcase your knowledge, expertise or unique skills, all of which will show well to your network.

In a world where “who knows you” is often more important than “who you know” growing and enriching your LinkedIn network can take you a long way professionally. With a few simple steps, you’ll see your network grow exponentially and over time the engagement will increase and the possibilities for the future will be endless.

“There’ll always be serendipity involved in discovery.”
– Jeff Bezos

Tweet like a Rock Star – 3 tips for easy Twitter Marketing

marketing campaignSince its genesis in 2006, Twitter has become a global stage that anyone can step onto, grab the mic, and sing to their own audience. Thanks to the potential for easily reaching such a wide array of fans, it has become an integral part of most small business marketing campaigns today.

The only problem is, with so many voices vying to be heard, how can you make sure you don’t become just another brick in the wall?

Being middle-of-the-road means getting drowned in sound, your voice left unheard along with anyone else who only seems to sing for themselves. If you want to get noticed, you have to leave the world of MOR, and concentrate on leaving people wanting MOAR.

This means escaping the road to nowhere and learning how to tweet like a rock star. By following these three simple tips for your Twitter marketing campaign, you’ll soon be well on the way to headlining your own gigs.

Plan your setlist

The best rock concerts are the ones where it seems anything can happen. Of course though, the band do know exactly which songs to play and in what order to hold the show together.

In much the same way, the tweets you send out as part of your marketing campaign can be prepared, put down into a list, and scheduled to automatically go out in sequence and at specific times.

By using a service such as Buffer or Hootsuite, you can easily schedule a whole list of tweets that will be sent out whenever you choose. The benefits of this are twofold, giving you more free time by allowing you to schedule all of your tweets for the week ahead in one session, while also ensuring they are sent out at optimal times, when more people will see them.

Collaborate with your peers

Going solo is a career move that has worked for many rock stars, but doing so on Twitter is one of the worst strategies for your marketing campaign.

Giving a shout out to people, be they your fans or people in the same industry, will make them like you a whole lot more as they appreciate the effort you put into acknowledging or promoting their content too.

Every time you mention somebody or re-tweet their post, they’ll receive a notification, which gives you a chance of being mentioned or re-tweeted in return, with the latter being a big deal if they are a bigger influencer or have a wider audience than yourself.

Perhaps more importantly than receiving reciprocal Twitter activity however is the fact that by appearing in their notifications, you are keeping yourself at the forefront of their minds, which is the best place to be for your marketing campaign.

Hold live shows

As recently as a few weeks ago, Twitter acquired and launched Periscope, a live streaming video app that is looking to add a major string to the social media giant’s already impressive bow.

Downloading and installing the app will allow users to stream and view live videos on their Twitter profiles, increasing the options for creative new ways to bring your marketing campaign to your growing audience.

The live streams also take up more screen real estate than text-only tweets and engage the user for longer than a single image will, helping your content and name to stick in the mind for longer.

For a marketing campaign to have the desired results, standing out from the crowd on Twitter is a must. By following these three tips, you’ll open the doors to tweeting like the rock star you’ve always wanted to be.

Get more sales using internet marketing: 3 steps to creating a simple digital sales funnel

As a small business owner, you have more in common with a fishermen and farmers than you may think. 
Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

When you’re marketing your business, sometimes you’re harvesting the results of your efforts and and sometimes you’re planting.

And sometimes, you’re fishing for prospects.

In order to make the most of your marketing budget, maximize the return on your investment with a strategic sales funnel.

What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is the process which a consumer goes from casually interested, to actively purchasing. The funnel takes into account the emotional and logical stages the buyer goes through, and nurtures them on to the next phase. 
By creating a well thought out sales funnel, you will increase the yield of your harvest.
So, just because someone isn’t ready to buy the first time they see your website, flyer or sign, doesn’t mean that they wont ever be ready to buy.
By offering multiple ways to engage with you further, you’re effectively casting 3 nets to  capture prospects and turn them into clients.
Cast 3 marketing nets to capture the most fish
1. The net with the biggest holes will ask your prospect to contact you to buy- a certain  percentage of people will be in this phase of the buying cycle and will respond. For those who aren’t though, they could be lost to you, unless you offer some alternatives.
2. Offer a second option that is less commitment- join our VIP (newsletter) list for “sales, giveaways, contests and other specials”. This type of option will capture prospects that are teetering on the edge; they’re thinking about buying from you but aren’t quite ready.
3. Thirdly, offer a third net with the smallest holes. This “net” is designed to capture the information of those parties that are just in the beginning stages of the buying cycle, where awareness is key. Catch these smaller fish now and watch them grow into big fish customers. Ask them to like you on Facebook or join you on Twitter to get entered into a contest to win free stuff. 
Permission  Marketing:
Essentially, you are ensuring you have received permission to further market and build 
 a relationship with even the most timid and unsure prospect. This will dramatically
 increase the odds of this prospect making a purchase in the future.
Then, work to build value and nurture these relationships on your social media platforms.
Offer valuable insider tips, how to steps and information that help solve the problem your  customer has. Show examples of your work, testimonials, and profile your staff to build trust and rapport with your audience.
This is a simplified version of creating a sales funnel. But it’s this approach which will measurably increase the efficiency of all your marketing initiatives. 
Do you have a sales funnel working in your business? Tell us all about it in the 
comments below:

Your Cheat Sheet: 22 Social Media Do’s and Don’ts:

social-media-dos-and-dontsForgetting the “rules” of social media? No worries, things change so quickly it can be difficult to keep up.

That’s why we’ve created this printable social media cheat sheet – 22 Do’s and Don’ts for success!

12 Social Media DO’s

1. Champion others – share their stories, like and comment on their news feeds and support them in their endeavors. The law of reciprocity means they will return the favor.

2. Give to get – Give helpful, entertaining, funny, inspiring or clever content to your social media audience. The more you can provide value, the better your odds of ensuring your content is shared, thereby growing your network.

3. Use multimedia – Use image or video based content whenever possible.

4. Optimize your accounts – YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook properties all appear in Google Search, Google + does as well, but Twitter does not anymore. If possible, use your keywords in your usernames.

5. ASK. Ask people to share, comment, like, re-tweet, sign up for your newsletter, visit your website or whatever you want them to do.

6. Be interested not interesting: be genuinely engaged with your social media contacts. Check in and see how they are, like their statuses, wish them happy birthday, ask their opinion.

7. Grow your network: Add all contacts you meet in real life and send them a hello message. Regularly add your email contacts and people you might know to your various social media profiles.

8. Add your social media live feeds, or at the very least, icons to your website or blog.

9. Suggest your Facebook page to friends on a weekly basis and participate in Follow Friday on Twitter

10. Ask your network to promote you

11. Comment on the news and events of the day

12. On Twitter – Use Hashtags to contextualize your conversation and connect with others discussing the same topics

Social Media Don’ts:

1. Don’t create an account and abandon it – set aside 10 minutes a day to check in and post something

2. Don’t be offensive or post in bad taste – you can be opinionated without being rude

3. Don’t talk only about yourself – self-centred people are as off putting online as they are off.

4. Don’t fail to acknowledge when people interact with you – it’s just rude

5. Don’t Sell, Sell, Sell! – no one likes a pushy sales person

6. Don’t make Spelling Mistakes: Use spellcheck!

7. Don’t expend a bunch of energy without a strategic plan

8. Don’t assign your social media marketing in its entirety to an intern – they can help you, but make sure their work is on point and you’re coaching them. Remember they are representing you online.

9. Don’t get too familiar – you can be cordially social without providing too much information

10. Don’t get into contentious or political conversations unless they’re part of your brand and you’re prepared for the fact not everyone is going to agree with you


Follow these 22 simple tips and you’ll have a failsafe methodology for engaging with your customers, clients and prospects on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google + and more.

Behind these points is the guiding principle of being genuinely likeable and providing value to your audience.

By being interested in others and consistently applying these tips, you’ll be well on your way to social media mastery


Learn more about Social Media.


Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.

What Should You Pay To Get On Google?

internet-marketing-resultsThere is such a huge range of costs and methods of billing to get on google that it can be confusing to know what is a good deal, and what is too good to be true. Likewise, it can be hard to understand why some firms charge 10 times more than others for what appears to be the same work.

Here is a breakdown of the different billing types, SEO Package services, and rates that typical SEO Companies will offer you to ensure your company’s website will get on Google:

Billing Type:

  1. Per hour: According to a 2012 survey by SEO MOZ, most SEO professionals charge between $76-$200/hour to help you get on Google.
  2. Flat rate or per project: Many firms will charge a flat rate for a very specific service to be performed ie: keyword analysis, site optimization or backlink creation
  3. Retainer: By far the most popular, a monthly retainer ensures specific services are performed each month. The advantage of this model is flexibility in allocating resources to what service within the offering is needed the most at that time.

Most common types of services needed to help you get on Google:

  • Pay per Click: offering to create and manage your ads for you
  • Google + local: claim your google + page
  • Inbound organic optimization: creating backlinks and directory listings to point back to your site and drive traffic
  • Web optimization: adjusting and tweaking the code of your site, including metatags to better “tell: the search engines what your site is about
  • Content marketing: Creating keyword heavy blog posts for distribution across the web.

Variables to the cost to get on Google:

  1. Amount of competition for keywords/ complexity of goal
  2. Size and complexity of site
  3. Experience of SEO firm
  4. Range of services provided- full service to bare minimum

Price Range of services that will help:

Keyword Analysis:  The low range is around $250, and the highest range is $2500. The variable can be attributed to how in depth the report is, and how experienced the SEO packages professional

Site Optimization: The low range is around $300 and the high range caps at $3000. For best results, ask for a price range based on hours of work. This directly correlates to how big and complex the website is.

Monthly retainer: For on-going SEO Packages: (Site and External to Site Services) $1000-$3000.

Content Marketing: Blogging + content submission: $500-$2500 a month, depending on how many hours/blog posts.

Google + Page Claim: $300 month seems to be the average price, but they go as high as $500.

Social Media Management: Yes, Social Media and SEO are blending into each other, making it hard to do one without the other.

Internet Marketing Consulting and Recommendations: Range from $76-$200 on average. Most SEO firms will include a set number of hours in their monthly retainer SEO Packages.

It’s recommended that, at the very minimum, your SEO package includes not just recommendations, but actual hand coded SEO Optmization of your website.

It is also recommended that your provider use the triple prong approach to off page SEO: Places, Organic, and Paid. This way you can cancel your SEO Package and still receive the benefits of a high ranking website well into the future.

For more information on the three ways to get on Google.

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.


How to: Track and measure your internet marketing results.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.netMost of our clients contract us because they want a steady flow of qualified leads to their business, effortlessly.

As one of the only firms in Calgary that guarantees internet marketing results, I often get asked, what results do you guarantee and how can we track them?

The most obvious results we generate are leads.

Leads are typically thought of as phone inquiries, web inquiries, or walk-ins to a retail location. However leads from an internet marketing campaign can also take the form of Facebook fans or messages, sign ups to your newsletter or webinar etc.

By determining what a lead looks like for you, you’ll then have a great foundation from which to measure the results of your internet marketing campaign.

What you can do is download the internet marketing results tracking template from our blog. This gives you a handy spot to measure all contacts to your company. It’s as easy as asking every single inquirer how they heard about you, and marking it down all in one place.

This information will not only show you the return you’re getting on your investment in an internet marketing campaign, but also what methods are the preferred and most successful in terms of driving business.

From our perspective, generating leads is the end result of a lengthy sales funnel we’ve created for you as the core of our internet marketing strategy.

Typically a consumer needs to go through a 7 step process to get to the point of being a qualified lead.

So, we view results as being quantifiable increases in all the factors that contribute to converting a prospect from mildly interested, to the- cheque-has-cleared.

In a very common situation a consumer will conduct a search online and find your site. If they’re satisfied with the information on your website, they’ll take action to contact you. This is internet marketing in its simplest form.

In order to generate these types of leads, we work backwards, delving into detailed metrics.

Based on a 4% conversion rate (the average percentage of people who will take action based on a website visit), how many visitors do we need to get to the site? So, we measure increased visitors as a metric of a successful internet marketing campaign.

Likewise, page one placement on Google is also viewed as a success factor, as this generates the exposure and traffic necessary to generate the leads.

Fundamentally, we ask, are we generating enough exposure and interaction with prospects to generate leads?

If you’re the business of selling to other businesses, the sales cycle may take quite a bit longer than the ideal internet marketing situation described above.

Typically a business or commercial consumer will go through more steps before becoming a customer, but the payoff is generally larger per lead closed if you end up with a customer for life.

In this case, we measure things like the open rate and click through rate on your newsletter, as well as the rate of sign up.

No matter what your unique situation, you can be sure we measure all the pertinent statistics on our end. Using Google Analytics, a free web traffic measurement tool, we’ll deliver monthly reporting on your web traffic and all internet marketing success factors.

However, the most accurate measurement needs to take place internally. You may even need to provide an incentive for your staff to provide accurate measurement for you.

Here’s the template.

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.


How to Get on Google: 3 proven tactics to drive new business.

Google-RankingYou already know that having a presence on Google is critical for maintaining a steady stream of automatic leads.

But did you know there are three different ways to attain the coveted position of page one on Google?

Here’s the lowdown on your options.

Get On Google, Fast: Pay Google Directly.

Also known as setting up a Pay Per Click or Adwords account, paying the search engine giant directly is the fastest and easiest way to get to page one.

How it works:

You create a Google Adwords account, create your ad, set a daily and monthly budget and supply them with your credit card number.  Each week they will bill your card for the amount of clicks your ad received.

graphic 1


Your ad will then display near the top of search results.  Where you show up exactly, and how often depends on your ad budget and what your competitors are spending.

What you need to know:

You need to do 2 things to maintain your page 1 position.

  1. Check your ad regularly and implement the not so optional suggestions.
  2. Continue to pay

Fail to do these 2 things and you will drop into oblivion.

Get on Google: organic ranking

Organic ranking is when your website shows up on page one without directly paying.

How it works:

Typically Organic Ranking is achieved with Search Engine Optimization services, which is when your online presence is optimized based on best knowledge of Google’s algorithm.

Google has a mathematical algorithm which dictates where your website displays in their ranking. There are many factors that go into this algorithm including how your website is coded, how many visitors you get to your site etc. To be ranked high, your site and presence on the web needs to adhere to and be optimized for all factors in this algorithm.

graphic 3


What you need to know:

Organic ranking typically won’t change too drastically, even if you stop marketing for a particular set of search terms. So, while it may take longer to achieve page one ranking, the payoff is much higher as the benefits of page one last far beyond the initial investment.

Typically results can take up to 90 days to appear.

Get on Google: Google Places Account

The third way to get on page one is to claim and optimize your Google Places account.

This means you’ll show up in the maps search section of of a search results page.

graphic 2

How it works:

You’ll need to claim your Google Places account – which requires a physical address, as they will send you a postcard to verify.

Once you have claimed your account, you’ll need to spend time filling out your profile and soliciting reviews.  Where exactly you’ll rank depends on what your competitors are doing, as well as how active your places account is. For best results get as many people to review your business on your places account as possible.

We have covered three ways to get on Google. The tactic that works best for you will depend entirely what you’re trying to achieve and what resources you have to allocate to your objectives.

For best results, a combination of all three tactics is recommended for best possible internet marketing results.  But, the best thing to do is start anywhere you can right this minute.

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.