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Strategic Thinking on the Go!

September 2010
Dear Colleagues,

This month we are learning about the things you don't want to do and things you do want to do. Everyone needs to know the do's and don'ts!!!

First, is a terrific article, The 10 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website, about mistakes you don't want to be guilty of making on your Web site. We all put up Web sites so that our prospects and clients will be able to gather information and/or purchase our products. But what should we be careful with on these sites? Ten things you need to be aware of.

Businesses thrive or die based on customer service. So why is it that so many businesses treat their customers like the enemy? If you need to keep more customers-and who doesn't-you will want to read 10 Things You Can Do to Keep a Customer Today.

Many of you are writing Blogs to keep your customers and prospects informed-me too. The article, 4 Tips for Writing SEO-Friendly Blog Posts, can help us all understand the best ways to get those pesky search engines to find our blog posts. It's important that readers be able to find you and what you are saying.

I've included information regarding The 12 Most Powerful (Copy) Words in the English Language. If you or someone you know is responsible for any of your businesses' advertising, you should read this. It could help you change the results of your next marketing campaign.

There are lots of exciting things going on right now. I'm attending a social media university, of sorts. At the end of the sessions, approximately 20 hours of study, I will be more knowledgeable in advanced social media strategy and tactics. As we move on through the rest of this year, I will be able to help you understand the importance of social media and some of the how to's that make it successful.

Till next time,
Happy Marketing!
In This Issue
The 10 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website
10 Things You Can Do to Keep a Customer Today
4 Tips for Writing SEO-Friendly Blog Posts
The 12 Most Powerful (Copy) Words in the English Language
The 10 Biggest Mistakes to
Avoid on Your Website

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, your website is presenting your company's image and message to prospective clients all over the world. With this phenomenal reach, you want to make sure your best image and best message are coming across.

Perhaps your website is not generating the interest you'd like it to and you'd like to find out why. Maybe you're just getting started in your new business and know you need a website, but don't know where to start. Possibly your website is doing great, and you'd simply like to take it to the next level.

Whether creating a new site or updating your existing site, here are some common pitfalls to avoid.

1. Unprofessional writing. It's easy to get so wrapped up in the web design portion of a website and forget about the words that go on the pages. Maybe the web designer does the design but not the writing. You might even find yourself writing the content at the last minute. Good writing is far more important than bling, and great copy from a professional copywriter will get your phone ringing.

2. Looking like all the other sites out there. Your business has something unique and different to offer its customers. Is that evident on your website? If not, you could
be attracting the wrong Click here for the rest.

Written by Sandi Smith and published by Manta.

10 Things You Can Do to

Keep a Customer Today

Where are you spending more time; getting new customers or growing and expanding your relationship with the customers you already have?
If you're like most companies, you're probably spending more time and money looking for and wooing new customers than finding new opportunities within the customers you already have.
Business customers
When the economy gets tough, everyone tends to go into survival mode and think that they don't have enough customers, or that they need new customers to replace the business that they lost. But the truth is that focusing on the customers you already have is your highest value
strategy when times are tough.

If you're afraid of losing a customer or just want to keep the customers you have loyal, here are some easy, low-cost strategies that will help
you keep a customer today.

Calculate your customer net worth. The best way to inspire increase
sales to existing customers is to see how much these customers have already contributed to your bottom line. The formula is actually simple: Take the total profit of your ideal customer over the lifetime of your relationship. Subtract all Click here for the rest.

Written by Ivana Taylor for AE Open Forum.

4 Tips for Writing
SEO-Friendly Blog Posts
Number 4
In addition to writing for their human readers, web writers and bloggers have to consider the digital web crawlers employed by search engines like Google. Your business can't skip the task.

Since most would-be readers use search engines to find blog posts, you need to make sure that Google ranks your site highly when those readers search for terms related to your business and the content you're writing.

You could spend thousands of dollars to have a search marketing firm optimize your business's blog for search engines, but chances are that you can learn a lot of the fundamentals yourself, saving yourself a lot of money as long as you have the interest and the time. Here's a basic primer on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your company's blog.

1. Always Include Search Terms In Your Post's Title

When Google reads a website to index it, it reads the code directly, not the snazzy presentation that humans see. The way most blogging platforms are built, the headline or title of your blog post is among the first things Google sees, and Google generally assumes the words that appear earliest are the most important. That's why the title is the most important part of your blog post when it comes to SEO.

Think about who you want to reach with this blog post, and what that person might be searching for when looking for your business's goods or services, then include critical words from that hypothetical search in the title. The most important terms should appear as quickly as you can reasonably fit them in. Just be careful not to make the title unreadable or awkward to human readers - that SEO effort will have been for naught if the reader is immediately turned off by the content once he or she finds it.

Here's a pro tip: You're not likely to win strong ranking for more than one or two search terms at once, so minimalism is a virtue here. Don't get Click here for rest.

Written by Samuel Axon for AE Open Forum.

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Marketing Pathways provides professional marketing services that dazzle and perform. You will be pleased with the results. Let's increase your company's sales together!

Cindy Neky

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The 12 Most Powerful (Copy)Words in the English Language

As a copywriter, there are times when I am asked by clients why I use certain words when writing an advertisement. Whether it is for an ad in a publication, online, a direct mail piece or even a radio ad, they don't always understand what words or groups of words work best when marketing a product or service.

Let me explain. Copywriting isn't like other writing. You won't find good copy in a newspaper article. Hopefully, you will find great writing known as journalism. Writing copy is based on getting the reader's attention as quickly as possible and stating your case for purchase of your product or service as clearly as you can.

With ads of any type, you have less than 2 seconds to grab the attention of whoever is reading or watching your advertisement. Not much time to state all the positives of your product or service. That's why a good headline is important in a print ad. Or why the first second or two of a television commercial is critical. (Does anyone still watch them now that the commercials almost outlast the show? Plenty of time to get that snack, do the laundry or take that much needed bathroom break.) Or why a billboard advertisement needs to state its case in a short, but impactful way.

There are specific ways to write effective copy. Some words draw the reader's attention to your offer more than others do. At times, the writing that will create the most impact with the reader isn't proper or a correct use of the English language. Copywriting isn't the English your elementary teacher taught you. It isn't for those who are compelled to strictly stick with only correct grammar. In fact, quite often the words for a great ad aren't correct or proper at all.

There are also those words that are more powerful to use than others are. These are the most profit producing words you can use in any marketing campaign. Copywriters know about them, but few others know how commanding these words really are. When used effectively, they can increase the results of your marketing.

The twelve words below aren't going to surprise you because you see them in ads all the time. Now you know why. They are the most powerful words used in copywriting.

1. You
2. Save
3. Money
4. Easy
5. Guarantee
6. Health
7. Results
8. New
9. Love
10. Discovery
11. Proven
12. Safety

These words have been studied and have shown they elicit the strongest response by people seeing or reading an ad. If you combine them, such as " You Save Money", they become even more powerful. Don't be afraid to use them multiple times in your advertising.

You may wonder why the word "Free" isn't included in this list. When used correctly, it can be even more effective than the twelve words listed above. The word "Free" has been overused though, especially on the internet. Some of its benefit has been eroded because of this.

Keep these twelve words in mind when you (or someone on your behalf) write an advertisement. They could drastically improve the response to your direct mail piece, online blog, newspaper ad or whatever marketing vehicle you are using.

Let me know what you think or if you have questions about these words and writing effective copy.
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