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Who Remembers Open All Hours? What Not To Do With Your Website

Happy New Year and a huge welcome to 2015!
Every New Year brings change; sometimes good, others bad. If you’re running your business online with a gut feeling that you’re sitting at the edge of a cliff, just waiting to be tossed over the edge, then pay attention to this, as it could be the most brutally honest truth about online business you’ll have heard in a long time!
Despite the woes you might have, it can and will be a prosperous 2015, and to be sure it is, I’ll do my best to part some wisdom and help you ensure you make this a year of significant growth.
I’ve come to expect that as each year starts, tragedy is right around the corner and I believe it’s in large part due to Google’s domination. But I don’t truly believe they’re the enemy.
It’s always good to approach the new year with an optimistic perspective on the real way business works online. It’s not about Google, Bing, Yahoo, or even Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
It’s about your readers!
The second you fail to remember that when you hit that publish button, you’re doomed from the get go.
There’s an easy way to solve that and it’s to understand your customers.
It’s not even difficult to do, so don’t try to complicate it. After all, they are your customers, and it’s your job to know them. Intimately! Not to the extent that you have to wine, dine, and invite people round, but to a point when you know who you are preaching too.
Information marketing has been around for decades. Nothing has changed but the technology people use to gather it. Your customers are still people, and that’s what the words on your website must invoke. A sense that the words are jumping off the screen, making people feel like you’re having a conversation in your readers mind.
Be the Modern Day Mystic Meg
The magical crystal ball that failed to deliver those lucky lottery numbers all those years back still has significance today. It cannot predict what the future holds, but just having that open mind to think past the present, taking caution towards the future – is more than enough power to prevent tragedy striking.
You may call online business a marketing lottery, but it’s one that you can win, when you go about your business the right way.
Do you remember the sitcom Open All Hours?
Talk about nostalgia…
For those not in the know, too young to know, or don’t watch the GOLD TV station, let me clue you in.
You’ve heard of Ronnie Barker, right?
Ronnie Barker
Hope so, but if not, he was a comedian.
In Open All Hours, Ronnie Barker played the part of Albert Arkwright who was the shopkeeper, assisted by his trusted nephew Granville who worked from early hours to closing time and paid little if anything for his service; more of an errand boy than a shop assistant.
Behind the counter, Albert was the penny-pinching scrooge, out to make as much profit from every customer, without a thought for service. His business approach was to squeeze every customer for as much money as he could, and spend as little of it as he could get away with.
To maximise the shops takings, he’d pull all sorts of tricks on unsuspecting passers-by to get the foot traffic through the door in the first place.
Websites are open all hours, but you cannot run it like a modern day Albert Arkwright
There’s plenty of commercial sites around, many of which are still manipulating results via blog networks just to get traffic through the first door, and then try to sell anything and everything, without a thought to the lifetime customer revenue.
Your first customers are your foundations. Repeat custom must be your goal. Your website can only grow if your audience grows with you, and the only way to get people to do that is to give them a real good reason to stick with you.
People are vigilant with every link they think about clicking. It’s the unknown to many consumers.
They aren’t like you and I who know that when we see forced FB shares that it’s not going to be worth sharing.
People click links cautiously, land on pages that look legitimate, click a link and next thing they know, they are calling their Granville up saying their computer won’t do a darn thing it’s told.
It is malware, adware, phishing scams, Trojans, worms, and horses in cyberspace. Complete oblivion to the masses and the only thing people know is their need to protect their identity at all cost.
Foot traffic (your first time visitor), will rarely make a purchase with your company on the first visit. They are likely to read the reviews about you on TrustPilot, Facebook, Yelp, and any other trusted review site before they part with their credit card information.
Even when their ready to make their purchase, it’s likely they’ll look for a telephone number and maybe even ring it just to make sure it’s real.
The cold hard truth is that people do not trust your business!
Nor should you expect them to. That’s why if you go back to the olden days of web copy and take a look at the keyword density issue, it is still relevant today. The most used keyword on any blog post or sales copy must be the word you, used to address your readers.
It’s the most powerful word in the English dictionary and it works miraculously to connect your audience with your business.
Work at establishing that rapport first, and think of your soft sell as the email address on a sign up page, before you promote anything you’re selling.
That’s where the real rapport is built. It’s when you integrate a marketing sequence, educating your customers about your company and establishing your brand identity. Brands are trusted. Tom, Dick and Harry not so much, and if you’re name’s John Smith, you have a real problem on your hands!
Sophisticated algorithms are not the enemy here. They’re the watchers.
Have you watched the film Noah yet?
If not, I recommend you do when you get the chance. There are watchers in it. I won’t spoil it for you, but think as those watchers as the search engine spiders. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll probably be able to see what I mean. If not, I’ll leave it at that.
Search engines watch the backs of their website visitors. They do everything in their power to smash away the dodgy sites into the depth of darkness, and raise the best to their user’s eyes. I’d imagine they do some real hard work in the background to keep the trust that they have built up over the years.
They’re doing something right that businesses are failing mercilessly at. Recognising consumer concerns and addressing them by favouring brands that people like, know and trust.
#Shareacoke anyone?
What other company could have pulled off a marketing stunt like that? Probably not yours, but you don’t need to. You’re probably a small, locally based business, and if you’re trading globally, you’ll have far narrower demographics than a world-renowned brand catering to customers of all ages, gender, bald, fat, thin or in-between.
Weight Watchers you might think would be the larger person who would be the target demographic. Did you think that? You just need to look at any of the marketing they do and you’ll learn instantly that that is not the demographic the brand target in their marketing. It’s actually women looking to maintain weight, or to shed just a few pounds and not a couple of stone.
What’s your target demographic?
Whatever you’ve been doing, you need to break the mould and give yourself a shake. Get yourself among the social media networks and meet the real people that will make or break your business.
What exactly are you serving them?
BS or genuine assistance with a real need they have, or services that will help take some of the weight of life off their shoulders, like a luxury spa day?
It doesn’t matter what it is you do to try to bring in revenue, as long as it’s legitimate, you can build your trust, raise your brand awareness, public profile, build consumer confidence and grow your bottom line. Just be sure to grow your audience before you attempt to sell your product, or service.
The only way to grow your customer base is to build your brand awareness, raise your public profile, and build consumer trust in your brand.
Do that throughout 2015 and you will have one happy accountant at the end of your financial year; your partner will be well chuffed too!
I wish you a Happy and Prosperous 2015.
Steve Hill
Top Notch Content

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