How To Write Effective Web Content

picture of business associates pleasently meeting
picture of business associates pleasently meetingHow to write effective content for your website By Lori Bratz Webprohelp.com The best advice I can give you is to stay focused on your message. Be sincere. Be helpful. Help the people that you can and have a focused "Call to Action". Be focused. What is your product or service? Specifically? Write about your product in detail. What size is it? What are the benefits? Being specific and describing your product or service carefully will help you in your search rankings. People aren't looking for "the best darn sewing machine company in the world". They're looking for a Husqvarna sewing machine dealer in Paducah. Be sincere. When you write about your product or service, write about it truthfully. Be honest. If you truly ARE the leading business in your industry, add backup information to your claim. Don't just throw words around about how awesome you are. That just makes you look untrustworthy. Be helpful. Let your customers and potential customers know that you have a business or service that can be helpful to them, and why. Your content should PRE-ANSWER the questions that a potential customer might have. Why should they have your service/attend your class/buy your program? Accept that your product or service is NOT for everyone. There are some people who are not interested in or who will not benefit from your product. Don't try to "trick" people into buying your product or service by making misleading statements. What you have to offer may not be the right fit for some people. Accept it and move on. Focus on reaching out to the people you CAN help. Have a "Call to Action". That is to say, have a statement that tells your visitors what you want them to do. "Buy Now", "Sign Up Here", "Call For an Appointment". If a customer has found your website, and is interested in buying your product or service, let them know how to do it. Good luck and remember, nothing speaks to customers like a sincere attitude!          

Announcing WordPress Wednesday! The Next Best Thing to Doing it Yourself!

Wordpress Wednesday is an excellent opportunity for small businesses to get an affordable, scalable website By Lori Bratz WebProHelp.com Welcome to the first ever WORDPRESS WEDNESDAY at WebProHelp! This is an excellent opportunity for small businesses to get a WordPress website set up for just $250. We set up the infrastructure, the basic content, and we give you an easy-to-follow How-To guide so you can update your site and add content and photos whenever you want. We’ll walk you thru these easy steps, but since it’s the next best thing to DIY, you have to do some stuff: picture of business people meeting
    1. Call our lead account manager, Lori Bratz, who will ask you a few simple questions about your business.
    2. Go buy a domain name from Godaddy. Set the nameservers to ns1.dreamhost.com, ns2.dreamhost.com, ns3.dreamhost.com.*
    3. Buy website hosting thru our referral link at Dreamhost.
    4. Choose a WordPress theme from a library of thousands of themes for us to set up for you.
    5. Enjoy working on your website content at your leisure.
We will fill in the basic template for you, so that you have a functioning web presence and we will provide you with a simple-to-follow one-page guide on how to add articles and posts to your page. What do you end up with? You get what we like to refer to as a “Business Card” site. It’s simple, straight-forward and easy to use. You can add content, articles, photos, etc. whenever you feel like it. You can make a huge, giant, information-rich site in your own time! But remember, you can’t customize TOO much because then it’s not The Next Best Thing to DIY. Then it’s us doing it. (Which we’re happy to do.) But not for the WordPress Wednesday deal. That’s it! Couldn’t be easier to get your website up and running! Give Lori a call to schedule your WordPress Wednesday DIY Site! *Our account manager will help you set your nameservers.                              

Time to Upgrade Your Frontpage Website

Time to upgrade your Frontpage website! By Lori Bratz WebProHelp.com Picture of a clockIn the late 90's and early 2000's millions of websites were created in a program called FrontPage, which was discontinued by Microsoft in 2006. If you were one of those people then the main worry about your website is that your hosting provider will eventually NOT support Front Page extensions (the code and configuration necessary on the web server to run a front page website) and your site will be dead. In the fullness of time, as your hosting provider upgrades its servers and technology, they will move forward and will not support old technology. It would be better to take care of this before it's an emergency.                              

Proper Website Management

website maintenance
What is Website Management? by Lori Bratz WebProHelp.com website maintenanceAdding a slideshow, changing information, posting an article, listing an announcement, responding to blog comments, monitoring and managing your online reviews. Those things all fall under the catagory of website management. Those are the tasks required to keep your website up-to-date with what is happening with your business. Search engines give your website more attention when you update the information more frequently. That is to say, they visit more often, and they list your site higher on results pages when they "learn" that your content changes frequently and is relevant. Read the Official Google Blog on "Fresh Content is Like Warm Cookies" from Nov, 2011. "If I search for [olympics], I probably want information about next summer’s upcoming Olympics, not the 1900 Summer Olympics (the only time my favorite sport, cricket, was played). Google Search uses a freshness algorithm, designed to give you the most up-to-date results, so even when I just type [olympics] without specifying 2012, I still find what I’m looking for." Proper website management = frequent updates. Website maintenance, on the other hand, is more structural and behind-the-scenes to fight downtime and hackers. It's visually checking your directories and files for errors, it's frequently changing your passwords, it's checking that links on your site aren't broken, it's checking the mail server, its checking your tools and web services (like WordPress, Concrete5, Drupal) for upgrades, it's keeping on top of the latest news and information about your website's technology and knowing when and how to fix those things when fixes are required.

Why is Your WordPress Site in Limbo?

A Sad Shame
By: Lori Bratz
WebProHelp.com
I came across this business website today and it broke my heart.  Why on earth would a business owner allow their live website to be stuck in wordpress limbo?  The only time 404 is ok on the web is if you are 9 years old and "404" is your hacker identity (ie: my kid). I'm posting this page, but I have shrouded the "face" with appropriate emboldened X's to respect the privacy of this business.  I WILL however say that I came across this website as I was searching a respected online journal. There is weeping and gnashing of teeth today at WebProHelp.    
A picture of a website with 404 on the index page.
A Sad Shame.
     

Facebook? Yes. Or Maybe No.

Photo of mark zuckerberg
Photo of mark zuckerberg Should your business have a Facebook fanpage? By Lori Bratz WebProHelp.com There's a fun little web thing that people are doing now called Facebook. Face book. It's really neat because everyone on earth is "on it" and statusing (status-ing) about things they like, places they go, how they feel about their recalcitrant children, how annoyed they are to have woken up before the alarm clock went off and other important information about themselves and their daily lives. Everyone is a huge celebrity now and they are obligated to share their opinions with the world. Hooray for Mark Zuckerberg! Totally LOVE that guy. ANYWay. They're also "liking" things like Chapstick, sweet kisses, lion-head bunnies and businesses they know. I think I'm being clear. Facebook is where people are gathering and sometimes people are spending their entire days with Facebook. So, that being said, why would ANY business NOT have a facebook fanpage?? Here's a reason: You cannot have a Facebook fanpage if you won't actually PARTICIPATE on Facebook. You can't build a fanpage and walk away. You have to manage it, build a fanbase, communicate, always be updating with good, relevant information. It can be a challenge, but heck, even King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls has an active Facebook fanpage. How much is there to say about bread? Plenty, fellah. If you're thinking it through.  

CMS Site Built For Easy Client Editing

CMS site built for easy client editing By Lori Bratz WebProHelp.com About this site: This client wanted a cute, minialistic site that is keyword-rich and ready for editing.  With a simple 30 minute lesson, this client is now completely able to edit her content whenever she likes, with only general monthly site maintenance and wrapper/template/platform updates by a professional developer.
R.E.A.C.H. Behavioral Consulting
R.E.A.C.H. Behavioral Consulting
Development tool: Concrete5.  Result:  Site is cute, editable by non-technical staff members, and is a completely scalable website that is SEO-effective. About this client: REACH Behavioral Consulting provides behavior analytic services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, developmental disabilities and other learning challenges. Owner/Director Elizabeth Stoughton, M.S.Ed., BCBA. 

Small Business Success in Tough Economic Times

picture of a woman giving a giftTips for asucceeding in small business: Give more than your competition By Lori Bratz WebProHelp.com If you have a small business, you know that consumers are guarding their spending now more than ever. In order to compete, and sometimes even to stay in business, small businesses need to offer more than their competition. Consumers are forgoing personal services such as haircare, massage, even extracurricular activities for their children because they simply have less dollars to spend on non-essentials. Consider making a space in your business to accomodate and entertain smaller children, enabling families to skip the cost of childcare when they visit your place of business. Clear out a corner, put down some washable carpet squares and a safety gate. Add some safe toys, a dvd player, some video games and you have instantly added value to your business.