Are client testimonials music to your ears? Your clients telling others what working with you is like? Celebrating your happy clients by letting them blow your horn is good business strategy. But did you know that testimonials have a second use, that is, to mine them? Even if you have a page devoted to testimonials (or reviews) on your website, have you strategically placed them throughout, pairing them with your offerings? PAIRING OFFERINGS WITH TESTIMONIALS How often in the busyness of being an entrepreneur do you ask for a testimonial, give it a quick read, post it and move on? Over time your testimonials accumulate but they are not top of mind. After all, it was gratifying to read it and know you have a happy client, but now months have gone by and new projects and clients are the priority. Take a pause and read them again. Carefully. [...]
In the Covid-19 pandemic world, birds remain free to go about business as usual. They can flock together and converse through their songs in the same way they always have. For us humans, things are different. “Social distancing” has become the new normal and I admire our country for putting the health of others as the top priority. In fact, I found inspiration for this painting in social distancing, wanting to express something positive in a time that often feels awkward. Barn swallows have always been a favorite of mine and are the subject of this painting. They take me back to an easier time. Days full of sunshine and the blessing of a friendly conversation.
If you launched your new business website by “DIY-ing” it to save money, you likely focused on: telling your story selling your products promoting your services If you stopped here, you created a dead end website—a closed loop—rather than a website that drives traffic back to itself. Does the thought of having links on your site that lead visitors away leave you feeling aghast, asking, “Why on earth would I do that?” If you answered, “yes,” you are not alone, but there are good reasons to use links. LINKS... promote your business build your credibility improve your ranking in search results add value for your visitors EXTERNAL LINKS lead visitors away from your site, therefore, remember to set them up to open in a new browser window so your website is ALWAYS visible. Link to: Your social media channels. Use posts to drive visitors back to your website. Complementary [...]
Aside from the simple abundance we normally experience on a hike, some days can be particularly special. Like the time we came face-to-face with a mule deer buck on the path just in front of us. It was as surprised by us as we were of him! As our brains processed his closeness and his majesty, he turned and disappeared into the trees. Much like what happens when observing a shooting star, we see it, then we don’t. We fix our eyes at the place it once appeared hoping to see it again. For that one brief moment, it was pure gratitude for our eyes.
How do you plan to build your brand and grow your business? The answer is at your fingertips! If your plan includes positioning yourself as an expert in your field—use your blog. If it includes improving your search engine ranking—use your blog. If it includes increasing traffic to your website—use your blog. If it includes engaging your readers with free gifts or special member-only offers—you get the idea—use your blog! Your blog offers you a platform and opportunity to do all of the above because it is a your narrative, your “brand.” The wisdom you share positions you as an expert in your field while it improves your search engine ranking because you are adding content. Compelling content drives traffic to your website to learn more. And free gifts and special offers provide that something extra to increase reader engagement. Following are 4 best practices to keep in mind [...]
“For Those Who Don't Know Jack” is a painting that finds its roots in vulnerability. The White Tailed Jackrabbit (which is actually a hare) changes color each year from brown in summer to white in winter. While this greatly improves survival chances in summer and winter—the periods when the change is complete—the time of transition is one of nervousness and caution with the hare constantly on the move. There is no safe place because the transition means the loss of protective coloring. There is no where to hide and danger abounds. Sometime, life feels this way. We find ourselves between places, not quite here but not quite there either. Staying focused and alert allows us to celebrate the transitions life brings and find enjoyment and inspiration on the journey.
Did you know that good Page Titles, Title Tags and Meta Descriptions are SEO components that advertise your business online? And did you know that your website has them all—even if you don’t give them a single thought or put any effort into them? The passive approach—using generic page names and title tags, and letting the search engines write meta descriptions. The low-effort, high-impact approach that will improve click through rates to your website—creative page names, optimal title tags, and meta descriptions written with your customers and clients in mind. Page Names We’ll start at the beginning with page names. Instead of having an “About” page, consider “About _____” (fill in the blank with your name or your business name). Or “Meet the Experts.” Or “Our Team.” Rather than a “Services” page, try something more descriptive like “Direct Sales Tips,” or “Work With Me.” Consider using the Google Keyword [...]
Are you looking for an easy place to get started with SEO? Search no more, Image Names and Alt Tags are it. Both image names and alt tags are underused SEO tools. They provide web accessibility to the visually impaired and they also improve search engine rankings for your website. This is because alt tags provide better image/context/descriptions to search engine crawlers and helps them to index the image properly. The good news is that the effort you put forth for the original intent: web accessibility for the visually impaired, is also good SEO practice helping search engines. To explore this area, I’ll use the image for the post. If I don’t change the name of the image file before I upload it (which is what most of us do, most of the time) and assign an alt tag, it will be “seen” as the number assigned it by [...]
You’re at a networking event and you’ve been asked about your business. You share what you do and who you do it for. Your words are impressive! You’ve created intrigue and a desire to know more, so you are asked for your business card. When you hand it to them, one of three things will happen. #1: It matches the eloquence of what you just said about your business. The feeling of connection grows and they move farther down the road to either becoming a client or a referral partner. This is the good beginning you are after. #2: The business card you hand them provides the necessary contact information, but it could belong to anyone and any business. It’s functional, but nothing more. It doesn’t do anything to move things forward. #3: The business card you hand them erodes the feeling of connection to you and your business. [...]
The inspiration for this painting happened on a camping trip. We had enjoyed a day hiking and were relaxing around the campfire at the base of Guanella Pass, at the Geneva Creek Campground. The weather forecast had been good for the weekend, but anyone who lives in Colorado will tell you that the weather in the mountains is unpredictable and can turn on you. Sure enough, just as the sun was setting, the wind came up and the thunder began to sound in the distance. But it didn’t stay in the distance for long. As lightening began to streak across the western sky, our dog Mica’s extreme distress reflected our own unease. We knew it was time to drown the fire, pack our gear and surrendered the night to the storm.