Archive for the ‘Web Development’ Category

5 Things about ShowMeLocal Coupons that you might not know about.

December 5, 2008

1. You can create “Appreciation” coupon and assign it to customer actions. When customer writes a review you can award him/her with the exclusive coupon that will only appear when customer finishes the review.

2. Your coupon is automatically converted to widget in form of HTML or javascript and is available for you to place on the website of your choice. Summary of all coupons is also widgetized. See “Content ToGo” section of a coupon.

3. You can email a coupon (as well as “Appreciation” coupon) to your customer base via “Email this Coupon to your Customers” feature.

4. We distribute your coupon to different websites including Google Maps.

5. Customers can send your coupon to cell phones and present them to you electronically.

These and other coupon features are standard and included with Free, Premium and Business Website services.

To start effectively utilize coupons with your Business Profiles visit your Business Dashboard.

Business Website – amazingly easy tool that converts your Local Business Profile into fully functional Website is Live Now!

October 24, 2008

After successful private use* we are delighted to announce availability of “Business Website”– amazingly easy tool that converts your existing business profile into standalone fully functional, professionally looking, locally tuned, search engine optimized informational business website.

Business Website package at extremely affordable rate of $9.99/mo, includes free domain registration and renewal, 5-business email redirects to the email of your choice and standalone website with ability to control displayed sections.

Business Website is completely ad-free and is based on the selected business package (promotions are included). No design and development is required; the most complicated part is to come up with the right domain name!

Some of the examples are here:

To read more Click Here

*This tool was available for private beta since spring 2008 and became publicly available to the registered business owners September 2008.

Engaging Your Customer

April 22, 2008

To be successful, you need to engage your customer. You need to talk with them, not at them. You need to be open and answer questions. This is one of the harder things to do on-line since you are not on-line 24×7. This is where your web site comes in.

You need to have a web presence on-line that engages your visitor enough so that they become a customer.

Starting Conversations with Contact Pages by Bill Slawski over at Search Engine Land is an excellent article on the subject. Bill specifically addresses the contact page.

“It can also help to start conversations that can provide you invaluable feedback, which can make the pages of your site easier to use, more informative, and easier to find. Listening to the language of your customers can give you insights into their perspective on what you offer, and the words that they use to describe those offerings.”

Bill goes over what to include and why it is important. I have to say, since I updated my contact page, I have gotten more calls and emails.

In addition to your contact page, I think the whole web site needs to engage your visitor. Provide the critical info your visitors need. Make it easy for them to get a hold of you.

Blogging is an excellent tool you can use to interact with your visitor. You should use a blog to provide info, ask questions, answer questions, and so on. Blogging can be done for free-only thing it will cost is your time. One of ShowMeLocal’s features is providing some blog space, so can engage your customer. Take the time to show them you know what you are talking about.

Remember your web presense is your chance to make a good impression, so take some time to organize what you want to say and how you want to do it. You will find it is a very wise investment.

Keeping it Fresh

February 26, 2008

Today’s post I will answer a question, I received from one of our readers.

Warren J. Sonne of Sun State Investigative Services, Inc., asked, “Is it helpful to periodically change the content on webpages?”

Warren stated he has seen conflicting info on the subject..well Warren, I have seen that too. Over my years on-line, it seems everyone has an opinion on the search engines and what matters.  I pretty much have decided that experience is the best teacher. So my general answer to your question is YES. Google and the other engines definitely like fresh content. My blog posts are picked up very quickly (aftger writing them) by the engines and indexed. 

Google and the others do look at the date the pages were last updated. If you use a Google sitemap, it will look to see when the page(s) were last updated.

I found this article on the subject too.

I also asked my friend and associate, Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing for his opinion. This is what he said:

I would recommend adding content for the following reasons (in order of importance):
1. Improving the visitor experience:  Visitor usability and experience is the most important factor when it comes to content on a website. 
2. Search Engine Optimziation:  Adding relevant content to help with natural rankings is a good thing to do, only if it gives visitor useful information (articles, tips, etc)

I agree with Nick that your visitor experience is just as important as the search engines. Hope this helps.

Q&A About Small Business Websites

January 21, 2008

We want to make the ShowMeLocal blog a useful tool to our readers. To that end, we are going to periodically post answers to questions small businesses have about being successful on-line. If you have a question for me, shoot me an email.

Some of the major questions I get from small business owners is regarding websites–should I have one? how much does one cost? how big should it be?

Well, in general, I think (as well as the experts) all small business need to have some web presense. A website, if done properly can be very effective in building your online visibility. A good website will contain all of your basic information: services, hours of operation, contact info, your policies, past customer reviews, etc. A look at a website as your 24/7 sales person. You should have on it, everything you think is important for your visitor/customer to know.

Pricingon designing a website will vary. There is no industry standard, so when speaking with a web designer make sure you agree on what you are getting, how long it will take, and that you get a copy of the work on a cd or dvd when they are done. Also it would be good to get references on past work too. Again, in general, a basic website should probably cost less than a thousand dollars but again, there is not standard. Most designers will charge on a per page basis.

Regarding size, it should be as big as you need it to be.

For some small business, a web site is too much (either in time, effort, or finances) so what is the alternative? The business profile page. When I first found ShowMeLocal, it was the business profile page that attracted me. ShowMeLocal has a very easy to use and update business profile section that any small business can and should take advantage of. The business profile page provides small business owners an avenue to put all of their vital business information on-line economically. Even if you have a website, using a business profile page is still recommended. More ways a potential customer can find you, the better. (In addition to ShowMeLocal, you can create your business profile at numerous other directories or search engines.)

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is the service of providing a space for your website to reside. Web hosting is one of the more critical aspects of a website and most website owners do not even think about it. If your website is not up and running, you have a problem.

When looking for a place to store your website, check out the web hosting companies past record: number of current websites they host, monthly or yearly pricing, security, file backups, email accounts, statistics, ability to run various scripts. A good web hosting company should be able to answer all of these and more. My recommendation is to start out small and then expand. No need to pay for 1 gig of space when your few html files only take up a megabyte of space.

Again these is not any standard pricing but you should be able to get some quality web hosting for under $10 a month. It seems like everyone is providing web hosting, so take a few minutes to review what they have and provide. Again web hosting is your silent partner, and if things are going well, it is one you should never hear from 🙂

We hope this information was helpful. Again if you have questions email me and I will do my best to answer them for you. Have a great week.