The Short Story

Our earlier blog posts are available on our Frisco Websites blog.
Lots of useful tips over there!


Spotlight: Dermatology Consultants of Frisco

We continue spotlighting clients, this week with Dermatology Consultants of Frisco. We did their website and logo before they broke ground 14 years ago, and continue to support their needs.

We asked them to tell us a bit about themselves, and why you might select them when you need such services:

Founded in 2004 by Dr. Eric Weisberg, Dermatology Consultants of Frisco has been a premier Dermatology practice in the North Dallas region. Even before adding locations in Denton and Carrollton, Dermatology Consultants of Frisco has been providing patients with comprehensive services in general, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology. We provide services for patients of all ages with any skin care concerns. With the addition of two practices, Precision Dermatology in Denton and Carrollton, we can serve even more patients in more locations.

Our practice should be chosen over the rest not only because of all the services we offer, but also due to our amazing staff. With all the dermatology services one family could ever need, we have top-notch staff that completes an excellent patient experience.

With four providers, we are able to provide care and service to a high number of patients each and every day. If you need to get an appointment quickly, our front office staff will work with you to find the best options. This also carries through into the practice itself with patient treatments. Our providers will find the treatment that works best your you. No two people have the same skin so no two treatments should be exactly alike.

We strive to provide our patients with the best care and service. We do so with all ages and skin conditions. Dermatology Consultants of Frisco, Precision Dermatology at Denton and Precision Dermatology of Carrollton are all practices devoted to providing your entire family the best in dermatological care.

 

You can reach them at (972) 335-2727 or via their website at www.mydermconsult.com


Spotlight: Jon Tarrant

Jon Tarrant

Independent Educational Consultant

Jon describes what he does to help families and students.

Visit Jon's website or call him at 717-258-5906.

 


Spotlight: Felix Educational Consulting

We asked Dr. Deb Felix to introduce herself

Visit her Website or call (240) 305-4578


Spotlight: TV on the ocean

Boats roll and bob around in the water, even on calm lakes, and move around a lot more on the ocean - making it tough to point a satellite dish precisely enough to get a signal.

Our client Track It TV manufactures economical systems that keep the satellite antenna pointed just right, allowing boat owners to watch satellite TV in all sorts of conditions. Learn more about their system.

One of their customers wrote, "We just got back from two months in the Bahamas using the Follow Me TV. The system exceeded all of my expectations. It worked wonderfully everywhere I went, which was all of the way down the Exuma chain to George Town."

Word of Mouth

Bill shared some thoughts about "word of mouth" on Facebook recently. You can watch what he said here:

 

Don't have under 90 seconds to watch and listen? Here's a summary:

Is Word of Mouth working for you?

If you rely on word of mouth to attract new business, you already know what the Nielsen research firm found…

92% of consumers believe recommendations from
friends and family over traditional advertising.

Even better, social media can spread those recommendations faster than the juiciest gossip, so word of mouth is more effective in this day and age than ever before!

It's good, but not good enough!

Even though those endorsements often only include your name, they get you into the race, and a long way towards the finish line.

Don't quit now! You're almost at the finish line!

Any consumer will want to know a lot more about what you offer and how it will help them meet their needs.

That’s why 91% of consumers will check out a business's website before calling or emailing. 

No website (or worse, a crappy website)? As SCORE pointed out in a recent blog post, this implies that a business is hopelessly out of date, or perhaps they are just dabbling and not really focused on their business.

Need help? Contact us, or set up a time to talk.

We're here to help!



What Happened to Harriet the Hamster?

If well cared for, that hamster you gave your kid will be a great pet for about 3 years. 

Then it will be time to wish her goodbye, console your kid, and arrange for a replacement.

The same with your website!

We’re not going to get into hamster postmortems. You already have problems enough explaining that to your kid.

But maybe we can save you from having to have that traumatic conversation about your website…

Factors impacting a website’s lifespan - and what you and we can do about it

Devices change. These days, for 90% of businesses, people get to your website far more often by phone and tablet than by desktop.  

Care about being found online? Several years ago, Google and others started downgrading sites that weren’t mobile friendly. 

Don't want your visitors scared away? Web pages that collect info, even just for newsletter signups, are being flagged as "not secure" unless they are encrypted with "SSL". 

Your business changes, and your customers' expectations change. You certainly know how different your business is from, say, 2014, or earlier. Does your website reflect these changes? Are customers immediately able to find on your website what they need to do business with you? Does your website look like it was made for monitors that are tiny, compared to those in common use today? Are your competitors’ sites updated far more often than yours? How does your website stand up to theirs, in your customers’ eyes?

Internet technology changes.  Compared to just a few years ago, the technology available for managing your website is greatly improved.  Easier to use, much more powerful features, and automatically mobile-friendly and encrypted. 

We have switched the tools we are using for new projects and when updating older websites with fresh new designs, to keep up with the state of web technology. (We'll describe some of the changes in another newsletter.)

Your action: If your site hasn’t been updated with changes in your business lately, been made “mobile friendly” in the past 3-4 years, and had "SSL" added in the past year, let's review!

Oh, and so sorry about Harriet!


Delayed response often means "No Sale!"

You saw reviews on what a business has to offer, and that's exactly what you want. 

You find directions and go there.

The business looks nice - you have come to the right place! 

But...

  • No one offers to seat or serve you,
  • You look around and find someone to ask for service,
  • You are told that someone will get back to you in a few hours, or maybe a few days.

Isn't that pretty much the way your website treats its visitors?

It's no wonder that the great majority of people who go into restaurants or most stores will buy, while owners of small business websites would be thrilled to get even a tiny fraction of their visitors to convert to customers!

You can fix this!  Here's how:

Be available! Imagine if at the very moment that a visitor is reading a page describing one of your offerings, you could answer any questions ON THE SPOT for them... rather than making them go find your contact page, for a response long after they had moved on to other interests?

Be aware and proactive! What if, when someone is on a particular page your site, you could see that, and perhaps initiate a discussion of that product or service, or maybe a promotion that they may have missed?

Not surprisingly, sites with instant availability and proactive engagement convert visitors into customers at a much higher rate. Read on to see how it works for a few sites we have helped with.

How can this work for you?

First - instant availability! 

We inserted a snippet of code on the site, and now, when someone visits a page on the site, a "chat" option appears at the bottom of the page, giving the visitor the chance to engage with the site owner.  A visitor can begin a live dialog with just a click!

Next - awareness!

The website owner can monitor activity on the site as it happens. Here they see that a visitor has been on the site for 8 minutes, and this is their third visit to this page!

Might this be a person who, with a slight bit of encouragement, could become a customer?

Finally - be proactive!

The website owner has the option to "say hello" to the website visitor, while they are there.

The owner could always initiate a dialog when noticing someone looking at a particular page on the site, just as a store owner can engage with a retail customer that is showing a lot of interest in a particular product.

But since the owner is not likely to be watching site activity all the time, they can set their site so that, for example, if someone is on the site a while, a welcoming message can pop up. If the visitor responds, the owner's computer or phone signals that a visitor needs attention.

These sorts of actions can be set to only occur if the owner or a staff member is available, and the owner can  show a "leave a message" option in place of the "chat" at other times, if desired.

There are other options, for such things as "click and we will call you within a minute", for example.

Want something like this on your site?

We are using JivoChat ourselves and for our clients. Let us know if you want to try it out.

Not our client? You can try it out yourself - get a free trial using this link.


Bar the doors! Anti-Spam Feature Changing

If you thought that most of the "spam" you get on your website contact forms is coming from some bored pimply-faced adolescent with nothing better to do, well, that's not the case.

The spammers use a computer program to scour the Internet and find forms, ideally ones that that can be computer-completed with a set of answers to the likely questions.

A typical case: Unscrupulous "search engine consultants" (or whatever name they may be using) offer to get a lot of visits to a website for a price. If even a tiny percentage of a huge number of these result in "clicks", the "consultant" has delivered a surge in website visits.  (The fact that none of these "leads" are likely to be potential customers is not part of the sales pitch from the "consultant", of course.)

To deal with this, for years, websites have employed various tools on their contact forms to try and keep down the spam submissions. These tools are known generically as "CAPTCHA" tools, and are generally easy for humans to handle, but difficult for malicious spamming software.

Going awayOne of the most popular such tools came from Google, and it has been widely used.

But Google has announced that this version of their anti-spam tool is going away, and will not work after March 31, 2018. 

You should check the "contact me" or any other forms on your website for the now-obsolete version, which will look something like the image shown on the right (but can be in different colors).

Chances are, you have already seen the replacement for the that tool on websites you have visited:

The new version

In most cases it's even simpler for people, and is more effective than the one being discontinued.

If you have the obsolete version (shown at the top) on your website forms, contact your website developer right away, and get it updated.


Lock the doors! Nothing inside!

In the history of the Internet, encrypting what you send and receive on typical business websites was deemed necessary only when sending credit card information, to prevent leaking that information to someone who was, essentially, "tapping" your Internet line.

Google is changing that, though. They have announced that starting soon, their Chrome browser will show a "NOT SECURE" warning when users enter text in a form on an unencrypted page -- meaning that even just asking for name and phone number on your contact page will trigger that warning."

Firefox and the other browsers seem to be following suit.

They are warning the public that if someone is tapping their Internet line, that scoundrel can learn their name and phone number when they fill out your contact page.

Soon, and more significantly, they will show "not secure" on ALL web pages that are not being encrypted, even if you do not ask your visitors to submit anything. (Read Google's announcement here.)

It's your choice.

Many would say that a security "threat" such as this is negligible, but "perception is reality", so while some business owners might just ignore the warning and trust that their visitors will do so also, you might want to consider adding encryption to your site, so as not to deter any visitors due to Google's dire warning message.

Talk to your web team about enabling encryption on your website.

 


Tired of missing the target?


Missing the target with your online ads? Imagine you see an ad on TV, and call to place an order... and you then get a recording about the history of the company, how great the team is, that they are members of the association of blah blah blah blah blah blah

Are you doing the same thing with the most promising visitors to your website?

Someone looking for exactly what you offer sees a link to your site.

Maybe it is on Facebook, a professional association website, a Google ad, or the website of a related business.

They click on the link, go to the home page on your website... and get blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Result: They go away.

Instead, use Landing Pages

Set every external link to your website to point to a custom page that specifically addresses the topic of the link, and perhaps its source.

  • If the link is on the site talking about a product, the page should talk about that specific product, and why and how to buy.
  • If the link is about a consulting service you provide, have it go to a page about the specific service, how it will benefit the reader, and how to get started.
  • If it is a link from the Chamber of Commerce, let the page talk about how to get specials you provide for Chamber members.

You get the idea. When someone clicks on a link and goes to your website, their first reaction should be, "This is exactly what I was looking for!"

And it's really easy...

If you are using our Online Business Partner® service, just log in and find a page on your site that somewhat matches the interests of those prospects who would likely click to get more information, then select "Copy This Web Page".  On the copy, revise the content to focus precisely on the topic.

Use the link to this new page for your Google ad, Facebook post, or association directory. Repeat as necessary for other topics and link sources.

If you can't update your site easily, then a "standalone" landing page might be best. See www.shortstorymarketing.com/lp for an example!




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