Benefits Of Starting A Small Business Website

Posted by Winning Web Design on July 17, 2010 | No Comments

There are myriad features in Winning Interactive – Boston Web Design & SEO solution that provide specific benefits to small- and medium-sized businesses. But there are also basic opportunities a Web presence offers any business, no matter what its industry or specialization. Here are five basic benefits of a small business website.

* “You’ll improve customer service.” Winning Interactive web design and SEO solution is packed with tools that streamline and enhance the customer service process. The possibilities are endless: our small business clients can add an FAQ page, embed videos with product demonstrations, and effortlessly interact with customers. Our solution puts it all at their fingertips.

* “You can reach new markets.” Whether you wants to reach a global audience or you’re focused on attracting local customers, Winning Interactive web design & SEO solution is integral. As small business expert Susan Ward writes, “People use the Internet like they used to use the phone book.” And since 97% of consumers in a BIA/Kelsey survey said they use online media to shop locally, there’s no excuse for local-oriented businesses to avoid maintaining an online storefront or an information booth online available 24/7.

* “There’s no better way to generate leads.” Regardless of your business’ industry, a web presence beats every other lead generation method. Ward explains, “For instance, getting people to write their email addresses on pieces of paper and handing them in at a physical storefront is hard. But getting people to type their email address into a box on a website is much, much easier – especially if they perceive that they’re getting something for it, such as special online coupons, a newsletter, a special report or an ebook.” Our web design solution offer different ways to integrate the contact management and lead generation process into the website. Site visitors can easily provide information that you can use to create high-quality, targeted e-mail campaigns in a matter of minutes.

* “The credibility of your business hinges on a web presence.” A web presence is you opportunity to make a positive impression and demonstrate your professionalism. It shows that you’re willing to invest in tools that improve your overall effectiveness as an organization.

* “Your competition is already online.” To stay competitive in today’s business climate, it’s vital to establish a presence on the Internet. You can rest assured that Winning Interactive – Boston Web Design and SEO solution is the best way to stand out. Everything – from site promotion tools to e-commerce capabilities – is included, giving you the ultimate competitive edge.

“The economic crisis had no effect on Internet growth”

Posted by Winning Web Design on July 17, 2010 | No Comments

Despite a dismal global economy, the web was a smashing success last year. According to a new report by Internet World Stats, 2009 ended with a total web population of 1,802 million. Editor Enrique De Argaez writes that “The numbers prove what we said one year ago. The economic crisis had no effect on Internet growth. On the contrary, we see growth in all parts of the world during year 2009.”

In fact, North America experienced more than 14% growth online, validating what many researchers have asserted: the downturn has prompted consumers to turn to the web in droves. Now, online shopping is a part of their everyday shopping habits, and businesses without a professional Web presence are lagging.

If you run a brick-and-mortar business in town, now it is time to learn why a simple investment in small business web solution could revive the traditional business. Contact Boston Web Design & SEO today for a personal demo.

Online Retail Continues To Thrive…

Posted by Winning Web Design on July 16, 2010 | No Comments

According to the latest MasterCard SpendingPulse Report, The firm tracked performance for several US retail industries and discovered that “most retail sectors continued to demonstrate solid year-over-year gains” in March. Even better news: the e-commerce channel was up 18.4% over 2009, leading to the channel’s 8th consecutive month of double-digit growth. This demonstrates “that the channel continues to grow at a faster rate than traditional brick and mortar stores,” according to the report.

What more evidence do you need to open your selling channel online? The economy is recovering and the Web is reaping the rewards. Set an appointment with our web design and search engine marketing specialist, and see how you can interact with a solution that will help to promote your local small business on the Internet.

How To Get The Most Out Of Small Business Website

Posted by Winning Web Design on July 16, 2010 | No Comments

This week, we’ve compiled a few ideas from PracticalEcommerce.com’s monthly list of Great E-Commerce Ideas. Every month, industry insiders provide the site with a few clever ideas for online retailers to get the most out of their Web storefronts.

1. Run short-term incentives. Kate Holroyd suggests, “To drive short-term sales volumes, try these marketing techniques: Offer 24-hour deep discounts on selected products for one day only. Or, offer free shipping over a limited time period, such as ‘Place an order this weekend and get free shipping.’ Repeat at intervals to drive traffic to your small business site.” This is a great tip for small business website owners who aren’t sure how to update their site regularly for optimization purposes.

2. Use text in “chunks.” Marketing expert Mason Wiley tells PracticalEcommerce.com, “Web pages that present a wall of solid text and information are intimidating to shoppers.” His solution? “Separate text into short, discrete paragraphs separated by white space, and use bullets when you can.” As you know, adding and modifying text is easy thanks to the drag-and-drop functionality of our small business website solution. Our small business website owners can experiment with text layouts to determine the most visually-appealing format.

3. Check your website stats. David Farache writes, “By tracking patterns during visitors’ shopping experiences, you can determine which pages should be most advertised, and which pages need adjustments.” Winning Interactive wed design solution makes it easy to track and measure local small business online marketing efforts. The comprehensive statistics section reveals everything they need to know about your business website traffic.

4. Add video. Videos are a great way to provide product or service demonstrations, showcase testimonials recorded by customers, provide virtual tours, and so much more. And, as Bobbi Leach points out, web videos are becoming incredibly popular among consumers. “This gives video the potential to make your ecommerce campaigns incredibly successful,” he writes. This tip pairs well with our next topic…

5. Add a human element. Mason Wiley tells readers to “consider adding a message from the CEO, a photo of your staff or offices, and mission statement. It’s proven to increase conversions.” There are countless features included in Winning Interactive – Boston Web Design solution that allow business owners to personalize their site and interact with their potential customers. It’s all just a matter of a little imagination.

Make the Most of E-Mail Marketing

Posted by Winning Web Design on June 13, 2010 | 2 Comments

When small business partner with us, they’re getting much more than a web site. Along with versatile e-commerce and site customization tools, we’re providing a solution that comes with e-mail marketing features which envy those used by costly outside firms. When you are interested in these tools to promote your local small business, keep reading to learn some invaluable tips about e-mail marketing that highlight the many facets of our online marketing solution.

Balance Copy and Images

According to Alex Madison and Lisa Harmon at MediaPost’s Email Insider, the balance between e-mail text and images depends largely upon the nature of the business.

“While lots of lovely images and minimal copy can boost click-through and engagement for B2C (Business to Consumer) audiences, B2B (Business to Business) subscribers…respond to no-frills creative that prioritizes copy over imagery.”

Our small business clients appreciate how easy it is to use our email marketing solution to experiment with text and image content in their e-mail campaigns! They can edit and adapt their messages to suit the specific needs of their business and they can do it all without paying for additional services.

Find a Form that Fits

Similar to the previous tip, Madison and Harmon say that both B2B and B2C businesses should hold on to their successful e-mail layouts and use them as forms or templates for future use. Along with the obvious convenience, this is beneficial because it allows businesses to keep their messages “consistent and recognizable.” Again, this step is simple with the help of our small business web solution! Not only will businesses be able to modify and save their winning forms; they can create a look that’s tailored to their business, thus enhancing their business’ credibility and boosting their customer retention rates!

Target

In the same vein as the tip above, e-mail marketing messages should be tailored to match the recipient’s needs, too. To that end, experts recommend gathering information right away – as soon as a site visitor opts in to the e-mail list – so that messages can be targeted to their preferences. With our email tool, It is very easy to create and send e-mails that are targeted to specific groups within their contact list. This process only takes minutes with our small business web design solution, and the rewards are extraordinary!

“Any time you make another step toward tailoring your e-mail to your readers’ interests, you’re going ! to come out ahead, no matter who your readers are,” according to Harmon and Madison.

Don’t Lose Track of the WIIFM Factor!

As any experienced salesperson will tell you, potential buyers have on question on their minds: “What’s in it for me?!” Successful sales hinge on anticipating that question and answering it effectively. Average small business is no different. That’s why once they understand the value of targeting and customizing their e-mails, they will be creating messages that are relevant to specific customers’ preferences and they should include exclusive discounts that reward e-mail readers for their continued loyalty.

At Winning Interactive Web Design, we help you make the most of our website solution all at once.

The Elements of Engaging E-mail Marketing Campaigns

Posted by Winning Web Design on June 5, 2010 | 2 Comments

More and more Internet marketers  are undoubtedly seeing the value of web solution’s e-mail marketing tools, but they may not know how to maximize the potential of these unique features. A successful web design firm can help you get started. We will be discussing some e-mail marketing tips in this article.

First, we have to emphasize that e-mail marketing is a proactive method of promotion, as Michael Thompson explains on DMNews: “With e-mail marketing, you can shift from a reactive posture to a proactive stance that lets you engage and control interactions with customers.” That significant distinction is a defining characteristic that sets e-mail apart from other advertising avenues.

Next, knowing your e-mail marketing goals is the critical to the success. You need to sit down and determine exactly what you hope to accomplish with your e-mail marketing messages. What action will they urge e-mail recipients to take? Thompson offers the following three guiding questions to help establish these “business rules”:

“What data do you need to execute that communication?”
“When and how often do you want to engage?”
“What constitutes over-contacting the customer?”

After you, the small business website owner, answer all these questions, you’ll be one step closer to implementing an outstanding, effective e-mail marketing campaign. At this point, it’s just a matter of understanding how to accurately target your customer base. This is where Boston web design’s solution of site statistics section really comes in handy. Web analytics is the collection, measurement, reporting and analysis of web based data in order to understand and optimize website usage. Business owners can quickly consult this section to determine how to create relevant, targeted messages for your contacts. Google also provides free site statistics tool called “Analytics” that you can add to your business website.

Shoppers are finally spending again, and they’re using the Web to do it. According to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse report, e-commerce in April grew 15.6% over April of 2009. This marks the 9th month in a row that e-commerce has seen double-digit growth.

As the report indicates, “eCommerce growth continues to outpace brick and mortar sales.” This is highly convincing evidence for you if you are still hesitating about Internet marketing. The economy is looking bright – but they’ve got to be online to make the most of it.

How did recent bad weather affect online businesses?

Posted by Winning Web Design on March 11, 2010 | No Comments

The recent blizzard conditions that swept the US were a stroke of good fortune for online businesses! According to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse survey, e-commerce sales in February experienced 16.7% growth over February of 2009. That was the seventh consecutive month that e-commerce showed year-over-year growth, according to SpendingPulse, “suggesting weather alone is not boosting its performance.”

SpendingPulse analyst Michael McNamara said the findings show a sustained transition towards Web shopping. “This sales channel continues to outperform traditional brick-and-mortar stores as consumers shift more of their purchasing online.”

It’s further proof that consumers are going to keep turning to the Web for its convenience – no matter what the weather has in store!

Let’s we looked at the data from last year. Marketing research giant comScore said the 2009 Christmas season (i.e. November and December) was, despite the economy, a success for online retailers in the US. Tuesday, the 15th of December 2009 was the single largest online spending day recorded in history – $913 million was spent shopping online that day.

comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni indicated, “[A] strong late season spending surge, propelled by effective retailer promotions, guaranteed shipping and a major snowstorm on the eastern seaboard that convinced many to shop from the comfort of home”.

What could brick-and-mortar stores do to benefit from this new trend in customer spending?

Simple. Just provide the same level of convenience to the customers — service your customers well online as you do in the local stores!

Today’s emerging technologies empower small businesses to establish trustworthy bandings online without breaking the bank. A few years back, a decent business website cost tens of thousands dollars to set up. Nowadays, a few thousand dollars could send you home a professional web presence with all the features you have seen, such as online shopping cart, e-newsletter, contact form, online payment, online catalog, customer review and feedback, online coupon ( be nice to the trees), map and direction, blog, photo gallery, etc.

You can even update your web site by yourself as frequently as you want without waiting for your web designer to put your request in his/her busy “queue”. If you need this kind of feature, you can ask for CMS, which stands for Content Management System.

If you are thinking about getting a web site for your local business or want to upgrade your existing web site, feel free to contact us at Winning Interactive. We provide free consultation on web design and Internet marketing for small businesses.

How Local Businesses Can Benefit from Business Websites

Posted by Winning Web Design on February 23, 2010 | No Comments

Winning Interactive’s local business web solutions are packed with tools and features that will help local small businesses increase revenue, decrease expenses, and provide your customers with a higher level of service and support. We are here to help you, the local business owner, to leverage the power of the Internet and gain all the benefits listed here with our turnkey website solutions. The goal is to grow your local business continuously.

Here are some examples of how local businesses will benefit from having a Web site:

Increase Revenue
- Open up a virtual storefront that creates an additional sales channel
- Sell products online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Introduce new products to the market faster
- Compete with big corporations based on service, price, and quality
- Capture the impulse buyer
- Accept credit card orders online in real time
- Optimize existing advertising (add a .com to ads directing customers to your dynamic, informative Web site)
- Expose your local business to new markets you may not otherwise reach
- Establish credibility with potential customers

Decrease Expenses
- Create an additional, inexpensive form of advertising that costs less than mail outs, phone book ads, etc.
- Automate the sales process
- Eliminate costs typically associated with expanding sales–employees, rent, utilities, insurance, etc.
- Display your entire inventory without increasing warehousing costs
- Drop ship products to reduce inventory levels
- Reduce dependency/money spent on traditional advertising media
- Update documents and manuals online in one centralized location
- Replace mass mail marketing campaigns with bulk e-mail
- Make your marketing efforts highly targeted and efficient with e-mails through the Contact Manager and statistical tracking of promotions

Improve Customer Service
- Provide fast, personalized service to customers
- Provide answers to frequently asked questions 24 hours a day
- Offer special packages or deals through your Web site
- Display testimonials from satisfied customers
- Send customers exclusive online coupons or discounts
- Allow customers to set appointments online
- Facilitate pro-active communication between you and your customers
- Respond to customers’ changing demands faster

The following section provides several examples of industry-specific benefits for various industries.

Accounting Firm
- List the different services provided – small business, personal, commercial, estate planning, etc.
- Post preparer’s credentials
- Provide customers with tips and information regarding the latest tax laws
- Explain why and how services can assist a customer
- List partners and affiliates – enhancing credibility

Air Conditioning/Heating
- Company profile
- Post product line (product catalog)
- Post type of services residential/commercial
- List product manufacturers
- Post warranty
- Create a preventative maintenance or product upkeep page
- Create a frequently asked questions page regarding products/services
- Dedicate a page to the latest in product technology
- Conservation of energy page
- Online day timer – set appointments, create a to-do list, post upcoming job events (Contact Management Tool)
- Create mailing lists (Contact Management Tool, Feedback Tool)
- Sub-contract/employment page (Contact Management, Feedback Tool)
- Employee of the month
- Post a map to business/physical location
- Post credentials and city/state licenses

Auto Body/Paint Shops
- Before and after pictures of cars
- Sell salvage cars online
- Sell car parts online
- Types of paints and materials used
- Furnish customers with tips on maintaining their paint, finishes, etc.
- Special services like murals, pin striping, window tint, etc.
- Let your customers know that your shop works with insurance companies
- Post whether or not on-site estimates are available
- Post whether or not work is subcontracted out
- Attract out-of-towners who commute and work in your town and may not know where to go

Beauty Salons/Spas
- Online scheduling
- Post pictures of happy customers and their hairstyles
- Feature each stylist in salon
- Post rates
- Promote hair shows, bridal packages
- Feature seasonal packages, offer discounts for online customers
- Sell hair care products online
- Feature ancillary services offered by the salon such as facials, nail care, etc.
- Use site to acquire new stylists
- Provide hair, skin and nail care tips

Consignment Store
- Supports both types-where the objective is to acquire additional merchandise and where the objective is to sell more merchandise
- Acquire merchandise-post which items are/are not acceptable, seller’s percentage, and any applicable store policies
- Sell merchandise-display a wide selection of merchandise retail customers can expect to find through the store; feature any unusual items which may interest collectors; run promotions offering an additional discount to retail customers who mention Web site; shoppers can request an item specifically-if not available, request can be posted on the Web, then sold to the retail customer when located; charge customers an extra fee to post the products they consign on Web site

Employment Agency
- One of the most popular uses for the Internet
- Attract companies who need to search for employees
- Post an online application
- Search for potential employees
- List areas of specialization (e.g. engineering, marketing, technical)
- Post top 10 companies looking for employees
- Tips for preparing resumes
- Interviewing advice
- Provide a map to office for interviews
- Easy transfer of correspondence from companies to Web site
- Prospect out of state-not limited to local market
- Job hunters can e-mail requests for employment by using the Feedback page on the Web site

Mortgage Company
- Post prime interest rates
- Make recommendations for property appraisers
- Provide information for first-time buyers
- Feature approved lenders
- Pre-approve clients online through Web site
- Set up e-mail for referral business
- Implement online questionnaire for pre-qualification purposes
- Provide perspective clients with your company’s profile, credentials, etc.

Non-Profit Organizations
- History of the organization-how and why it was founded, etc.
- Attract additional members
- Save money on extra software tools and other computer management systems by utilizing features like the Contact Management System
- Save money on direct mail, dedicate a page to online donations
- Sell tickets to special events
- Feature organization’s mission statement
- Specify how the monies are allocated (what percentage of donations go to cause)
- Highlight past accomplishments-success stories
- Feature a monthly/current project, state future goals and objectives
- List affiliates and/or satellites, thank and highlight prominent contributors

Office Maintenance/Maid Service/Janitorial Service
- List bond certification and qualifications
- Devote a page to testimonials from most satisfied clients/ customers
- Provide customers with rate information
- Online scheduling
- Coupons for new and referral clients
- Post service area
- Companies can send you a bid for services using the Feedback page
- Feature special cleaning products for environmentally conscious clients

Optometrists
- Sell eyeglasses and contact lenses online
- List health insurance providers to reduce number of telephone inquiries
- Physician profile-post credentials-increase credibility
- Provide a “wear care” page for patients (caring for your contact lenses, etc.)
- Online scheduling for patients
- Provide the latest information on radial keratotomy
- Provide referrals to qualified ophthalmologists/surgeons

Painting/Photography/Design/Artists
- Display work on Web site
- Sell your work 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Receive special requests for work/ consignments/ commissions
- Provide pertinent background information
- Feature any specialty work such as mural painting, faux finishing, etc.

Pool Cleaning
- Feature services offered
- Sell products like skimmers, heaters, and chlorine
- Provide helpful tips for preventative maintenance of pool cleaning
- Address frequently asked questions (Why acid baths? Why clean my pool? The proper pH balance for pool water, etc.)
- Furnish pool safety tips and emergency information
- Provide referrals to affiliates/partners like pool contractors and designers
- Customers can e-mail questions or problems
- Outline service area, request appointments

Restaurants
- Online reservations, post menus
- Photograph of restaurant/staff and best dishes
- Profile exceptional chef and his/her credentials
- Feature dinner and lunch specials
- Tribute to employee(s) of the month
- Provide a map to restaurant location
- Promote catering services
- Special events scheduling
- Provide an online tour of special facilities (banquet, private dining room)
- Provide online coupon
- Customers can place orders for take-out or delivery

Retail
- E-commerce capable; sell products 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Post special product promotions
- Develop an extensive product list with thousands of items
- Develop affiliate relationships and partnerships
- Use Contact Management Tool to e-mail notification of sales and promotions
- Provide an online coupon that retail customers can print out and carry into the actual store

Veterinarians/Pet Hotels/Walkers/Sitters
- Banner exchanges with local pet stores and kennels, humane society, SPCA
- Sell ointments, leashes, eye drops, etc.
- Put online live video of dogs/cats in kennel so that pet owners can see their pets while on a trip
- Display vet’s resume and credentials
- Tell special stories (”I rescued a cat…”)
- Display rates, services offered
- Offer a “classifieds” area where customers can advertise (Free to good home, etc.)

There are many other industry-specific ways that a Web site will enhance your local business. Please contact us today to discuss your Internet marketing needs.

Benefits of Internet marketing or online marketing

Posted by Winning Web Design on January 25, 2010 | No Comments

Study showed that the advertising spent for online local business search reached $3 billion in 2008 (resouce: Kelsey) and the projection for 2010 is $13 billion (resource: Forbes). More and more businesses realized the unbeatable benefits of Internet marketing as below:

  1. Cost effective. For the same results, Internet marketing costs much less than traditional medias, such as newspapers, trade shows, tv commercials or yellow books.
  2. Wide coverage. Internet marketing is not limited by the geographic. You may be able to do business with anyone in the world.
  3. Instant effect. In a few seconds, people for any corner of the global can be connected through the Internet any time.
  4. Always open for business. E-stores can take orders even the Bricks and Mortars are closed at night.

Internet marketing vs. traditional marketing

Market Reach Available Methods Effectiveness
Local sales rep Driving distance Printing medias, face-to-face Limited by work hours
Personal referral 50 prospects Verbal Various
Store front 100 prospects per day Face-to-face Limited by store hours
Trade show 500-2000 prospects per day Face-to-face A few days
Internet marketing A successful web site could attract tens of thousands online shoppers every month. Web site, video, real time online chatting, email newsletter, social medias (facebook, twitters, linkedin, etc), online coupon, interactive text messaging. 365 days a year, 24 hours a day

Welcome to Winning Interactive Blog

Posted by Winning Web Design on January 24, 2010 | 4 Comments

People ask us all the time for an opinion or recommendations on business web site design, SEO and even on more general internet marketing approaches, processes and tools we use. Our online marketing folks are always happy to spread the word when they’ve come across something that works. And now here’s the easiest way to share all these success recipes.

Today we rolled out our official web design and online marketing blog. The plan is to let you in on the know-hows, action steps and inside advice that will help your local  business to grow by leveraging the power of Internet.