If “Professor Maps,” Mike Blumenthal, is correct — and I believe he is — then setting up and owning your Web presence is one of the core Internet marketing functions for your business. And when it comes to your website, you have to address a few key areas including the domain name, landing pages and ways to remain inspired and creative (of course that’s good for your business in general).
Co-branded domain names
To me your website is your online home, and the better you take care of it, then the better it takes care of you. But what about those beautiful, well-laid-out, but co-branded websites? Does having a domain name like mysite.blogspot.com or yoursite.weebly.com matter?
I think it does. I recently met a small business owner who does a great job at creating local buzz through live events, postcards and relationship marketing. But when I was ready to tell others about her and send them to her website, it was co-branded. A Google search of the exact event name produced five other co-branded sites, and none of them was hers.
It’s easier to say yoursite.com than yoursite.blogspot.com. And when you’re trying to spread the word, easy matters. Plus yoursite.com can easily outrank yoursite.weebly.com (with a few tweaks). Besides, why build up weebly’s or blogspots’ brand? They have an awesome following of their own. Drop the co-branding and market your name instead.
In “Why You Need Multiple Domain Names,” Ivana Taylor says to “look at owning domain names like owning digital real estate.” If that’s the case, then using yoursite.blogspot.com is like renting: It’s easier to move in, but no matter how much you pay, you will never own it.
Content and the pages users land on
Another key element to your website is the landing pages.
According to Copyblogger.com:
“A landing page is any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result.”
The goal is a targeted page with no distractions. So usually a landing page has no sidebar and includes a simple header. This page is designed to solve a specific problem for the reader and get a specific response from him or her.
For a list of cool tools to create landing pages in a flash check out Ivana’s article at American Express OPEN Forum.
To learn more about what a landing page is and how to make the most of it, check out how landing pages turn traffic into money at Copyblogger.com. You will see a landing page in action and find a tutorial that will help.
Creative thoughts and ways to keep them flowing
Ideas are the jewels of business. Once you have an idea you have to chisel it into something that catches the light and does exactly what you want it to do.
The “chiseling” is what business is all about. It’s the process. If you can keep your head and trust your heart, then you can create something beautiful. But what about those diamonds? How do you keep the ideas flowing?
The creative process is intriguing. Anita Campbell highlights 3 websites that will get your business creativity flowing. Check them out.
I have to say I became caught up in the ideas on these websites and found myself lost on a tangent that helped me solve a business dilemma I had been contemplating for weeks. Go figure.
Your business and your marketing are driven by ideas, so create space for them to flow.
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