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CitrusKiwi's Web Design, Internet & Marketing blog

Get hints and tips about web design, SEO, and things internet. We also discuss online security issues, showcase new client websites and offer hints on marketing and networking.

6 easy tips to supercharge your website

New Years' resolutions are a great thing... IF you carry them out. As Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (probably) wrote, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"! No plan is bad, but a pla...

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8 simple website tips for 2019

Happy New Year (almost)! I know it's a cliche sort of thing, New Years resolutions. I also know that most of us end up breaking all our well-meaning promises to ourselves. This year, along with t...

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1 sentence email grabs cold clients' attention

If you've been in business more than 6 months, and especially if you've tried some sort of internet marketing, then you'll undoubtedly have a bunch of names and addresses of people who looked, but never bought. Here's a 1 liner email that will really grab their attention and garner a pretty good response rate. Firstly, I have to admit that this isn't my idea, but I loved it and unashamedly nabbed it to send to all my customers, because I thought it was brilliant. An Aussie firm is using and is, reportedly, doing great things with it. And, let's face it, if they contacted you, then did nothing, what have you got to lose? What emails get opened? I get lots of "buy this" emails every day. Most I delete without opening, some I open, scan, and delete. All that effort is just wasted on me. "Make $xxxx in 5 days"...

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Free internet advertising on Craigslist

It's not often that you get something worthwhile for free. In the realm of internet marketing, many people think of AdWords when the topic comes up. But did you know there are many great opportunities to advertise for free on the net, and quite successfully? The more obvious ones are sites like MerchantCircle, Yelp (though I have issues with some of the less-than-reputable dealings), & your local city business directories. But the one I'm going to mention in more detail is Craigslist. Yes, it has a worse look than a 980's website done by an amateur, but, for many industries, it can yield great results. It also seems to be better in some cities than others. When we were in Citrus Heights, CA (part of Sacramento) we got 1-2 inquiries off it every week. And many of those became customers. However, Arizonans (specifically in Phoenix) web design at least on CL...

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9 Internet Marketing mistakes

With your bottom line getting squeezed every day, maximizing - and tweaking - your advertizing spend is vital. Here are 9 things you can do, or look at, to ensure your spend is getting results. Track your results. One of the most important things you must do. If you're not tracking, you have no idea whether any marketing is achieving a result. So ask every customer this simple question, "How did you find us?" If you're using special campaigns, consider a "hidden" landing page for that so you can more easily track results. Check your form results. Are you regularly checking online form responses? Or do emails from your forms sit in an unchecked email box, or only get check once a week? Response followup. Assuming you're not wasting your responses by not checking, what's your follow-up strategy? Do you have one? How many times will you try to make contact...

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How to avoid website DIY disasters

Coming from a nation of DIYers - New Zealand - I can empathize with those who want to do it themselves. Right now, I'm in the middle of a bunch of "honey-do" projects around the house - tiling, baseboard replacement, painting. Even though these projects don't require huge learning to do acceptably, they do require some learning. They also need the correct tools to do it well. For example, I bought a good quality wet saw for the tiling project. I have quite a lot of cutting to do, and getting the cuts where I want them is critical. So how's this all play into website design? Simple.... you need to know some stuff, and you need the right tools. Without either, your shiny, new, 24/7 salesperson may not be doing you and your company any favors. As I mentioned in a recent blog, the average person makes up their mind...

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Twitter helps boost your business

I put off using Twitter for years.  I just seemed an odd little thing, but now, with 150 million plus tweets a day, it's hard to ignore as a viable marketing tool.  Everywhere you look you see @<some_name>; TV, billboards, magazines.  But are businesses using it correctly.  Do they have a plan?  Quality control? Metric tracking?   Do you? I've been doing some research on Twiiter methods for business and a client talked to me this week about exactly that.  I sent them a somewhat complete email, but, on reflection, realised that I'd not really given them a big how-to, rather a do this.  So I sat down today and wrote "The Twitter Method", which is a complilation of all that I'd gleaned.  I'm sure, given the ever changing landscape of the net, there's a bunch of stuff not in there, but it's a good starting place for those who've never...

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Is Google ripping you off?

Remember a more genteel time on the web, when you searched with Webcrawler & Altavista, and Netscape was the browser of choice for those who wanted a free alternative to IE (or you paid for Opera)?  Alas, those balmy "summer" days of the Internet are well past.  This is definitely the "winter" of Google. I found some disturbing stats on search engine share.  The figures are compiled, and update twice a month, by Compete, Nielsen-Net, Alexa, seoMoz, StatsCounter - GlobalStats, and Karma Snack's Snackfolio traffic analytics.  We all knew Google was taking over, but did you realize by how much?  Click the image to see and, in that famous line from "The Fly", be afraid, be very afraid.... Anti-competitive Google? Is Google being anti-competitive?  Who cares if they are?  YOU SHOULD!  For the same reason so many people complain about Microsoft, the same charge should be levelled at Google.  Their constant expansion...

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5 "must haves" for internet marketing

If two more-or-less equally skilled people start an Internet business, why does one flop miserably, yet the other become a roaring success? Is it a secret weapon - a magic bullet - that others are yet to discover? It sometimes seems like that, but you'd be wrong. Here are 5 characteristics which anyone can use to help improve their online (or offline for that matter) promotion. You'll find these traits in most all successful on line marketers. They are: Organized They have a plan!  Sounds like a no-brainer, but so many businesses approach the task of promotion haphazardly, with no clear idea of where they are going. You must get down ON PAPER (well, OK on you computer at least) a checklist of tasks and activities for each day of the week. Then, in the words of Nike, "Just do it!" It should be a simple system that you work on...

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Why your website may not be helping you

"So, how much traffic did you get from <insert source here>?"  "Ummm, not sure..."   Well, how much traffic did you get to your site?"  "Ummm, not sure..." "OK, how about sales?  Did your website produce any sales?" (You guessed it!)  "Ummm, not sure..." Sound familiar?  Heard those questions before?  The crux of it is what you did based on those questions.  Did you just soldier on, put your head in the sand like an ostrich, or actually take a long hard look at your whole website and how you track campaigns? Why sites don't perform 1. No one knows they're there!  Yes. I know that sounds simplistic, but, if you're on page 3 or worse you are, to all intents and purposes, invisible. 2. Bad navigation on site.  I see it all the time, even on professionally designed sites.  You can't find anything; important stuff hidden behind 2-3 mouse clicks....

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8 online marketing strategies

What are your marketing strategies?  Are they staying up to today’s trends?  Here are some marketing strategies that we use here at CitrusKiwi Web Solutions to help drive traffic to our site and our customers' sites, establish credibility as a company and turn that traffic into sales. Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) People select from the first or second page of search results.  CitrusKiwi provides ongoing SEO services as part of their Web Solution packages as we see this part almost as critical as the actual website itself.  A fantastic, "all-the-bells-and-whistles" website is useless if it appears on even page 4. Keyword Research Discover the words and phrases people are searching for online.  We are addressing this issue even as we are designing the site.  Why wait till after the site's designed and content written?  As the site develops and evolves, we help you continually refine these words and phrases within...

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