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Do you know what you want from your website? Your customers do

What is the most important aspect of your website?

User reaction when open websiteIt’s to sell of course, whether you want customers to order right from your site, call you for an appointment or walk through your storefront, at the end of the day you want as many people as possible to “buy” whatever you’re selling.

What do your customers want though? A lot of business owners and even web designers are surprised. More than flashy banners, a beautiful design and a clever tagline, in surveys 76% of web users said they wanted a site that was SIMPLE.

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How to Make a Long Url a Short Url

For tweets, emails, and other areas where you can’t paste something like what you see below.

If you’re wondering where that leads (it’s too long to make it a clickable link easily) it leads here:

google_url_shortner

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How to Make an Effective Facebook Ad

Or any ad for social media.

social-facebook-adsWhen was the last time you clicked on an ad you saw on a social media site? If you said a long time ago, or never, don’t be discouraged because people are clicking and people are buying. If you said recently then what did the ad look like? What drew you in? Did you buy, or give them your email, or call? Maybe you didn’t but you remember them.

Here’s the math of advertising, it’s not hard. You spend X amount hoping those pennies and dollars will result in a net gain, eventually. You measure it over time. If it does end in a gain, spend more and see if you gain even more business, and so on until you hit some saturation point where more $ no longer equals more sales. If advertising isn’t working it’s not the concept of advertising in general which is failing most likely, but your messaging, your target, or your product. It works. Ask AT&T, GM, Disney, McDonalds, Walmart, American Express, etc.

How is advertising on social media different?

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Google Maps for Beginners

The Only Actual Easy Guide on How to Create a Custom Google Map and Embed it on Your Website, Share It, or Just Look at How Pretty It Is.

You may have noticed despite every other set of directions screaming, “This is so easy!” It’s not because they skip steps and assume you already know what you’re doing. We won’t assume that, because how could you know what you’re doing… unless you are Google… are you Google?

411 Locals is here to help:

1. You need a Google account to do this. If you don’t really want an account, just make up the information on their “create an account” page. You can even start a new Google email if you’re really serious about not having another account to keep track of. Just go here.  (Right click and select “New window” so you can read these directions while you’re making your map.)

2. Once you have your account, one you plan on using or one you’re going to forget about later, don’t sign out or anything, just got to https://maps.google.com/. Don’t worry, no passwords or anything, you’re set.

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Ad Checklist

Information about creating ads and things  to consider by 411 localsDon’t have the budget for an ad agency or in-house marketing department? Don’t worry; you can still make an effective ad. Follow these steps and chances are good that you’ll at least have a return on your investment.

1. What format will this ad be seen in? Television, print, social media, radio, an online banner, billboard, point of sale, decide what media you are going to use. This will determine the ad’s style, length, even viable objectives of the ad.

2. Have a clear and specific goal. This doesn’t include “make more money” or “be super awesome,” even though both of those things are good. It needs to be a calculated goal like; X number of phone calls per dollar spent, X number of clicks per dollar spent, X number of customers coming in the store per dollar spent—and there should be a way to measure it like analytics or a reserved forwarded number, even sales figures before and after a spot (though keep in mind additional factors that could affect those numbers like weather or tax returns). Or if your goal is pure branding, which is important if somewhat difficult to measure, you may want to consider surveys or long term sales measurements before and after branding efforts. If branding is the goal, be aware that it’s a long term investment. Imagine it like the difference in between regular exercise to keep your heart in shape, and nitroglycerin. Both work great, branding works better long term but is less helpful if you’re in the middle of a heart attack right now.

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How to Rarely Run Out of Ideas for Your Blog

Ideas for your blog posts by 411 LocalsWe’ve covered why you should set up a blog right? Blogs can help your optimization, offer your customers information they are looking for, and establish your business as an authority in your industry, which is very valuable when it comes to branding and ultimately increasing new customers and keeping current customers. Please see past issues for ways to create a more effective business blog.

Here we are going to talk about what to write about. See if one of these ideas sparks something valuable… and if it doesn’t refer to number 1.

1. Okay, if all else fails, just don’t post. You’re better off skipping a post or two than risking the integrity of your blog with posts that just waste the time of visitors. But there’s usually something cool to post about, so read this.
2. Make a blog post that shows them how to use your product or service… easy right? Okay so maybe you thought of that. We have more.

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