KeyLight Group – PR for Technology Firms

KeylightI know it’s Saturday morning, but the kids are in the other room watching Noggin, so I figured I’d launch  the Web site for KeyLight Group while they were spending time in Elmo’s World.

KeyLight Group provides full service marketing and public relations for technology firms. The site was beautifully designed by Karyn Nelson Design, providing identity, print, packaging and Web services. The site was built by yours truly of flyte, purveyors of fine Web development, email marketing, search engine optimization and Web sites for entrepreneurs.

KeyLight Group counts flyte new media among their clients.

Rich Brooks
Always Looking for Some Good PR

Are Blogs Just Hype?

Have you ever learned a new word and then seen that word used everywhere? Suddenly you read your new word in articles, see it on billboards and used ad nauseum by the color man during football games?

Now, was the word always there and you didn’t notice it, or has it just magically sprung into use while you slept? Or a combination of both?

I ask this because last night when I watching TV they said, and I quote:

Blog blog. Blog. Bloggety-blog blog. Bloggety-bloggety-bloggety blog. Blog. Blog, blog, blog, blog and blog. Blog. Blog…blog. Blog or blog? Blog. Blog, blog, blog.

 

BLOG!

 

And now, more blog.

O.K., maybe it wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was only one show on a cable station called Fuse. (Think MTV but with music videos.) The VJ was promoting the show’s blog.

And admittedly, I had spent the past hour reading posts on a great blog about business blogs by Rick E. Bruner called Business Blog Consulting.

It was at that moment that I got a sickening feeling in my stomach. That I had been turned into a promoter of yet another non-event in the history of the Web. That blogs were no more important and would prove no more durable than "push technology" from the late nineties.

However, then I got to thinking about why I first started getting interested in blogs, and why I think they’re important.

I’m a Web developer by trade. (Hmmm…that makes me sound like I’m part of some guild, and I just missed making the blacksmith team.) At flyte, our goal is to build effective Web sites for clients and then help drive traffic to those sites. That includes search engine optimization, email marketing and other Internet-based marketing.

From what I initially read, and what I’ve found to be true since then, blogs can really help with marketing a business site. I’ve seen my blog traffic steadily rise and my ranking on important key phrases at Google come up on the first page…sometimes even hit number 1. I’ll admit, I haven’t spent too much time trying to drive this traffic to our company Web site, or convert it into business, but our pipeline is full so it hasn’t been my first priority.

In short, blogs probably are going to explode and then cool as tools of Internet marketing, as far as industry pundits are concerned. There’ll will just be too much hype, even if most Americans don’t yet know what a blog is. Like the Internet boom itself, blogs will be touted as the answer to all problems, then dismissed as being nothing but hype. The truth, of course, will lie somewhere in the middle.

For the time being I will continue to promote blogs to appropriate clients as an important part of their Internet Marketing Toolbox. Blogs help by:

  • Allowing clients to make regular updates without the need of a Web master
  • Creating more incoming links to their company Web site
  • Giving a face or personality to their company (assuming they have one)

The more sticks in the fire, the more effective a site’s marketing will prove.

Rich Brooks
Web Marketing Blogger

Blogging in the News

Today there was an article in the Wall St. Journal about blogging; specifically, are there any rules or ethics bloggers should be following. What? You don’t read the Journal? But I thought you ran a business? Well, for at least today (1/21/05), the WSJ put this article in it’s free section…so check it out.

Although I didn’t really learn much new from this article, it’s just a long list of blogging articles I’ve seen recently. I can’t believe it took me so long to realize the benefits blogging could have for one’s business.

I had a meeting with a friend of mine yesterday about his upcoming Web site and I floated the idea of a blog. We got so excited talking about the possibilities and how it could help him we almost started yelling. (I’m passionate about this Web thing.)

Over the next few blogs (next week) I’m going to try and make a stronger case that most of my clients (and non-clients) would do well by themselves if they started a business-related blog.

Have a good weekend…and Go PATS!!

Rich Brooks
Blogger

Calls to Action: Are You Doing Enough to Make the Sale?

This morning I’m sending out the latest issue of our free email newsletter, Honey Roasted Peanuts. I really gotta change that name. Unfortunately, I’m having a brain cramp on what to call it. I circulated some possibilities to friends and co-workers, but no one gave the same answer.

I really like "What Works Online," but we’re calling the blog that. Online Success, Net Profits, Web Strategies…

I want something clean, clear, and not too-clever. I really like the name of this marketing newsletter I receive, "More Clients." It’s great. Tells you exactly what to expect.

Anyway, this month’s newsletter is about calls to action. How spending money on search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising is a waste unless you can convert those visitors. It’s got some good tips on writing calls to action as well.

It was fun writing it; I got to revisit some fond childhood memories with the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Remember those? The site I found is great; even has the covers, which I completely remember from when I was a fourth grader.

Rich Brooks
Action Caller

Calls to Action: Are You Doing Enough to Make the Sale?

CALLS TO ACTION: ARE YOU DOING ENOUGH TO MAKE THE SALE?

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

— Anonymous, Overused Proverb

Nothing happens until somebody sells something.

— Arthur “Red” Motley

Many site owners pour time, money and energy into search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising to bring more visitors to their site.

Unfortunately, they welcome this targeted, qualified traffic to a Web site that offers mediocre copywriting, confusing navigation, and no clear directions for the prospect. The prospect–unable to find her way without a dowsing rod–leaves the site frustrated, never to return.

The mistake that many site owners make is believing the site visitor knows what’s expected of her. That she’s arrived because she is ready to buy a signature pottery piece, or make an appointment for a Botox injection, or subscribe to a newsletter.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Many of us use Web sites to gather information to make an informed decision. In other words, we want to be sold. We want to get excited about your product or service, because we’re going to have to trade away something to acquire it…it might be money, or time, or just the freedom of choosing something else, but every transaction requires a loss. Good, persuasive copywriting will get people to focus on what they’re gaining and not what they are giving up.

However, the sale doesn’t end there. This is where calls to action come in.

A call to action is a request for the user to do something. It might be to click on a link, fill out a form, join a newsletter, or add a product to her shopping basket. It should appear at the bottom of just about every page on your Web site.

A call to action answers the unasked question, “That’s interesting. Now what?” Even if visitors are motivated by your copy, you need to give them clear instructions on taking the next step. Otherwise, that next step might be backing up to Google’s search results page to click on the link after yours.

Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books when you were a kid? At the end a page it would say, “If you want to go down the trap door go to page 37. If you want to turn around and face the witch go to page 42.” The reader’s choices are explained clearly. How successful would the series have been if they didn’t include those directions?

What should your call to action say? This all depends on what your business goals are and how you want your Web site to support these goals. (You’ve clearly defined those two items, right?) Different pages may serve different purposes, so you’ll need to be specific when crafting these links. Here are some possible examples:

  • Learn more about how safe laser eye surgery can be.
  • Get more information on how our affordable log cabins can become your second home!
  • Sign up for our newsletter and get tips on keeping monthly heating bills down.
  • Contact us for a free home security review.

When crafting your calls to action keep the following tips in mind:

  • Link or underline the unique, offer-specific words as opposed to “click here” or “learn more.” That way, your most important words will stand out. Also, since search engines often give linked words more importance, you’ll be optimizing your site for your keyphrases, such as “laser eye surgery” or “affordable log cabins.”
  • Not every call-to-action needs to make a sale. Itcould ask someone to register for a newsletter, review a portfolio, or enter a raffle. There are often several steps to the sale, and baby steps might be what’s called for.
  • Although you should always end a page with a call to action, there’s no need to wait that long. An old sales technique is to continually ask for the sale. While you don’t want to come across as pushy, you don’t want to miss an opportunity to connect with your visitor, either.

The point of the call-to-action is to help your prospects navigate your site successfully, to have a positive experience with your company, and to bring them closer to a point where you can help them. They are the sign posts of your Web site.

Review your Web site today and see if there are missed opportunities where visitors might be leaving your site.

If you’d like help keeping visitors on your site and writing persuasive calls to action, please contact us.

–Rich Brooks

President, flyte new media

MHHRA: Massachusetts Healthcare Human Resources Association

MhhraYesterday afternoon flyte launched a new site for MHHRA, the Massachusetts Healthcare Human Resources Association.

The site provides information on programs and resources for MHHRA members. There’s also a password-protected member area where members can view a searchable directory of MHHRA members.

We built an admin system so that MHHRA administrators could easily update the membership directory with the click of a button. (Well, maybe two clicks.)

Flyte also designed an HTML newsletter to replace their print newsletter, saving MHHRA about $10,000 a year. (Sweet!)

Flyte also implemented a PayPal solution for MHHRA. Now members can renew online, and both members and non-members can register and pay for programs put on by the MHHRA.

If your organization has similar needs, please contact flyte new media.

Rich Brooks
Helping Associations Grow Online

Entrepreneurial Resources

This is advice that some people will say, "well, duh," while others will be surprised.

If you’re running your own business (or planning to) and you’re not subscribing to Inc. magazine you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Until I started reading it, I assume it was something like Fortune, a magazine for rich people looking to get richer. Instead, every month there’s articles on how to deal with hiring, firing, business strategies, etc. There’s never been a month where it wasn’t worth ten (or one hundred) times the cover price.

Another magazine I find helpful to the entrepreneur, although less surprising due to it’s name, is Entrepreneur. And as long as we’re talking about entrepreneurial and small business resources, have you checked out Entreworld.org?

Well, have you?

Rich Brooks
Entrepreneur

Addvance: Answers to Your Questions About ADD (ADHD)

AddvanceWe launched ADDvance.com today, the revamped e-commerce site for Advance Books. Run by Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D. and Patricia Quinn, M.D., this site is an amazing resource for anyone searching for information for themselves or a loved one who struggles with ADD (ADHD).

You can read free articles online, or buy books and article collections through their online store. You can also sign up for their free email newsletter: ADDvice for ADD-Friendly Living.

Flyte had previously worked with Drs. Nadeau & Quinn on another of their projects, NCGI: the National Center for Gender Issues and AD/HD, a membership-driven organization focusing on the unique impact of ADD (ADHD) on females.


Rich Brooks
Launcher of All Things ADD (ADHD) Related

A Letter from Network Solutions

Over the past week a number of clients have written, asking me to interpret the letter they received from Network Solutions. It starts off:

Dear [Insert Name Here],

Our records show that your account information is either incomplete or out of date.

I’m not sure that this is true in every case, but it’s not a bad idea to login to your account at Network Solutions (or any other registrar, for that matter,) and confirm that the information they have on you is correct.

The first thing you’ll need is your username or ID, and your password.

If you don’t know your user id it may be at the top right of your letter. However, I have seen cases where that info was incorrect. If it is incorrect, that’s something you can get from Network Solutions’ customer support number: 1-888-642-9675

If you don’t have your password you can have it automatically sent to the email on file. How do you know what email is on file? You can call customer support or look it up doing a "whois."

Unable to access that email because you haven’t used it in over 5 years? Get on the phone with customer support. Sometimes they can call you back on the phone number on the account to make sure you are the account holder. If that fails, there’s a much longer fax process which customer service can walk you through.

When you finish all this and get your username and password, the first thing you should do is write them down! Next, log into your account and make sure all the information is up to date.

Rich Brooks,
Your Beatrice in This Ring of Hell