5 Tips To Generate More Leads From Your Website

While your website is the ideal place to talk up your business, it should also be used to generate a healthy amount of potentially productive leads.

1. Contact Form

The most straightforward way to generate leads on your website is via a contact form where visitors leave personal information. There are several ways to optimize said form.

Positioning – The contact form should always be clearly visible on the upper half of your page. Ideally, the form should appear on every page, but of that cannot be done, make sure to create landing pages with the contact form included.

Length – You need to strike just the right balance when creating a form. Too long, and people simply won’t take the time to fill it out. Too short, and you won’t get the quality leads you seek. A medium length form will pull in just the right type of leads, as truly interested folks will take the time to fill out more than just their name and e-mail address.

Use content to dress up the form – Visitors to your site may choose to ignore yet another bland form, but will be tempted to fill out a form that goes above and beyond. Tell them a little more about the offer that await, or tempt them in with a special offer that will come their way should they take the time to fill in all the details. Avoid using “submit” at the end, choosing instead to use a call to action.

2.      Keep your blog updated
Blog posts are a great way of picking up leads, especially if you add engaging content that makes the reader want to leave a comment. Get in the habit of writing engaging posts on a regular basis. Each and every comment left is a new lead. When someone takes the time to leave a comment, they are letting you know that they are interested in your services. Great blog posts tend to deliver great leads.

3.      Contact number.
Many website owners make the mistake of essentially burying their number on the “Contact Us” page. If you want to get the attention of your visitors, place your contact number at the top of every page. Interested visitors will definitely call for more information, at which time you can gather their basic information.

4.      Freebies.
One way to get people to offer up their information is to reward them for doing so. You might decide to give away a free gift or perhaps a discount on any one of your products. This is a technique that works very well.

5.      Learn to be social.

The belief that social media is a fad is one that has long since been dispelled. It has quickly become an important part of any marketing strategy, because the fact is that people love to share. The number of friends and followers you have is less important than your activity level. Posting often quickly leads to a growing number of inbound links and leads.

In order to get the most out of social media, you need to use it correctly. That means engaging in conversations as opposed to constantly just talking about yourself. Deliver great content and then get engaged in meaningful conversations with others.

A blog post shared on Twitter will get 117% more views than one that isn’t. If you are interested in B2B, use Linkedin, while Facebook is best for B2C. For referral traffic, you’ll find that Pinterest is more effective than Linkedin, Google+, and YouTube combined*.

Above all else, you need to make sure that visitors have a good experience every time they visit your site. If the site is hard to navigate or the content is bland, visitors may quickly lose interest in what you have to offer.

* Source: Shareaholic, February 2012.

Photo: Image courtesy of Jason Howie on Flickr

Ranking, results, and writing to be read

When it comes to search engine ranking and pulling in more visitors to your website, few subjects on the matter have gathered as much attention recently as using articles to do so. The content and keywords to be used are a hot topic indeed.

What you may have noticed is that not all the advice you receive in this department is the same. That is because the internet, and search engines, are constantly evolving. Content is an integral part of SEO, but the more content that is out there, the more Google changes their algorithms to ensure that the best, most relevant content rises to the top. Today’s content creators are aware of the need for consistent original content that will keep visitors on their website for a greater period of time.

One of the best ways to make sure that people do stay is to avoid simply stuffing all of your written content with keywords.

Here are 7 tips that will help you create great content that moves you up the rankings:

1. Think of your audience

Getting too caught up in writing for the search engines often means creating content that will not engage your target audience. Google and others are now well aware of what type of SEO content is also a hit with the reader. That means making sure that you deliver engaging, informative content with just the right splash of SEO.

2. Forget about keyword density

Squeezing in keywords where they don’t belong will hurt, not help, your content. The finished piece will be painful to read, and there is simply no evidence that Google uses keyword density to rank websites. By all means add keywords, but make them a natural part of the piece. Use them at the start of your article and include headlines, too.

3. Variety is the spice of life

One thing that the search engine do use to rank is known as Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). LSI is a process where Google looks for synonyms to normal keywords in content. Good use of these types of words can give you better ranking in Google and Bing. A blog post will sound more natural when it uses synonymous keywords rather just than repeating the same keyword over and over again. The use of synonyms will make your article sound more natural and Google likes this. So mix it up a bit and use similar but related keywords in your blog posts and copy. These small changes can deliver big results.

4. Length does matter

We live in an information age, where knowledge is considered a strong asset. Being able to share that knowledge with others can help position you as an expert and improve your search engine rankings. A longer article is always better than a shorter one. Longer content is often more researched and better thought out than content that is shorter. Google favours longer copy. And you are more likely to have your article shared if it is substantive. So don’t be afraid to plough on and write a long blog post or article. The more knowledge the better, as longer articles seem to get more loves, as well as more shares via social media. And that’s good for everyone!

5. Give your audience the information they want

While this seems pretty straightforward, you’d be surprised how often it doesn’t happen. Think about the most common questions you hear pertaining to your niche or industry and address those in a well-crafted blog post. Or, why not develop a detailed Q&A page that addresses a lot of the questions your readers are looking to get answered? A good Q&A page will connect you to your market and positively build brand image. It will rank well on Google too, giving you more traffic to your website.

6. Ask the same questions as your audience

It is common practice to think about those big juicy keywords instead of focusing on what it is that people are actually searching for on Google. Think about the phrases or questions you type into the Google search box when looking for something, and apply that technique to your writing. The way you ask the question is likely the same as your target audience, so think about including said question as the title or as a headline in your piece.

7. Encourage sharing

Great quality content deserves to be seen, so get it out to the masses via as many social media outlets as possible. People love to share great content with their networks, which means your work will end up with a much larger audience than it would get if you simply placed it on your website. Google loves to see content being shared and will reward you accordingly. Make sure you are using Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media platforms to get your message out there!

Zoom Planet can help you create engaging content that will help you to get noticed and to win more business. Contact us now to get the ball rolling?

Photo: Image courtesy of Tim Snell on Flickr

Why responsive web design is the way forward

When designing a website, there used to be one primary aim for a web designer: keeping a consistent feel and look to the website. No matter where the web page was to be viewed – laptop, desktop, or mobile device – the aim was to make sure that the website always looked the same.

However, in order to keep up with modern times and Internet users’ viewing habits, static designs are become less popular and the new dynamic, responsive website is the desired look for an increasing amount of website owners; before long a responsive website will be a must-have feature.

A responsive website adapts to any size device to allow for an optimal screen viewing. That means no matter the device a visitor is using, they can see all of the content, not just some of it. If you’ve ever viewed a website on a smaller screen and have not been able to see all of the content then you’ll know how annoying it is to not being able to access all of the services you need; that is a static website and the disadvantages of that type of design are plain to see.

By laying out and coding a website, a developer can easily solve this problem, allowing the optimal screen viewing experience whether the visitor is using an iPhone, Kindle, or mobile. Whatever the device, the content will always be fully displayed, and all of the options are assessable.

Responsive design also makes it possible for the website to adjust the visual layout according to the device, ensuring an attractive design.

Some people might not want to invest in the extra cost of responsive design, however, if your costumer cannot access the services on your site the chances are they will go somewhere else, and as an increasing amount of people use a range of devices to access the Internet while they are on the move, your website needs to be able to respond to that demand – or get left behind.

A responsive design will help your website to stay ahead of the competitors by always being assessable. The way people view digital content has changed and will continue to change, which is why investing in a responsive design that responds to your visitors’ needs is essential.

Photo: Image courtesy of Chasing Daisy on Flickr

Creating an attractive and effective leaflet design

When it comes to designing a leaflet, it may sound fairly simple at first but it can be a little tricky if you want to create an attractive and effective design. You should have the important information but not too much where the reader becomes overwhelmed. It needs to have an effective design and layout and the following tips can help you achieve that goal.

Keep it Short and Sweet

The purpose of a leaflet is to make readers take action; whether through direct contact or simply visiting your website. The information you provide should entice and appeal to the reader; not overwhelm or confuse them.
While you likely hope to pack a lot of information into a small space, you want to avoid this. You simply need the information that will get your point across; the website is where the loads of information should go. If the purpose of the leaflet is to offer customers a special deal or discount, focus on making it easy for customers to realise this.

Appealing Design

While your leaflet should have important, but basic information, it’s also important that it appeals to the reader; you want to catch their attention. Therefore, it’s important to keep this in mind when considering the layout of your leaflet.

Colour overload can also overwhelm readers. Don’t use colours that clash but rather a ‘set’ of colours that compliment each other very well. Avoid using any word or clip art and stick to professional images if you need to add graphics. Most people will view a leaflet with clip art or word art as unprofessional and likely won’t bother reading your leaflet.

Targeted Market

Sometimes it’s more beneficial to pick a particular market and stick to it. Even more so if you provide a variety of services. Be sure to detail the ‘main’ services you offer but try to include a specific service you offer and are an expert in; maybe one that needs more attention or light shed on it to bring in more buyers. If you try to appeal to everyone or too many people at once, you’ll likely miss out on appealing to the market that is ideal for your business.

Include an Offer

Finding new clients can be a little difficult sometimes and getting ‘repeat’ customers can be even more challenging. This is where a leaflet comes in handy. Consider offering a special deal for new customers and then a discount for their future purchases to entice them into coming back to you.

It doesn’t matter if your services are awesome and successful; you must still convince customers to the point they’re willing to give you a shot. Study your competition and see what they’re offering and try to match, if not beat, their own promotions. Try not to offer something that results in profit loss on your end, unless it can be earned back quickly in the near future. Above all else, your leaflet and your offers should catch the attention of readers.

Photo: Image courtesy of warrenski on Flickr

Why you should only use a local web designer

Looking at getting a new website? Here are 7 reasons why you should only choose a local web designer

As you begin to put together a great website for your business, it is important for you to locate a good web designer. This should be one of your first tasks.

Outsourcing your work to freelancers and other companies whose services you see advertised on the Internet cvan be a tempting alternative to the hiring of a local company or professional. After all, the world is a small place now thanks to the Internet and it may seem a cheap and easy option to employ a web designer who may not even be in the same contry as you!

Although it may seem cheaper to hire a cheap web designer you don’t know too much about, it could become quite costly in the long run. If this is the method you choose to create your web design, there is a good possibility that sooner or later you will regret that decision. Let me give you seven reasons why your best option is a local web designer.

1: Time zone issues and communication problems are something you don’t need to do deal with

Face-to-face meetings are still the best way to get things done. When you are trying to explain your web requirements to your designer, it makes a substantial difference. At various stages of the project, it is easier to review and make needed corrections. If you have a remote wed designer, you are unlikely to be able to do this, which can hinder the project.

Of course it is possible to use teleconferencing or video chat to do these reviews, but these methods have drawbacks and limitations. For instance, if the web designer you have hired is in a different time zone than yourself, you have automatic communication hurdles to overcome. There will be inevitable delays, due to time differences. Getting replies through your emails will be delayed, and you will find the tasks generally take longer. When you are trying to communicate any new requirements or changes that need to be made, these delays can be quite frustrating. By hiring a local web designer, you not only avoid any time zone issues, you also negate any possible language barriers and cultural differences.

2: A local web designer has the advantage of understanding your business

A local web designer will be able to visit your office and get an understanding of just how your business works. By coming  into your office, they will be able to better understand your objectives and what you are trying to achieve with your web presence. When they actually do the work on your project, they will be able to use the knowledge they have gained, to your advantage. Rather than just creating a design from your specifications, they will have the ability to give you new ideas and suggestions that can improve your website.

3: Having local knowledge of your business is a definite asset

If your business is geared only to your specific city, county, or locality, a local designer will have a greater understanding of the local aspects of your business. This will allow him to better target your local market. As an example, by being familiar with your community and area, a local designer will better understand the target market specific to your area. Your target market might be people who live in a particular location or possibly people with a specific amount of income.

4: Local website designers want to keep their reputations intact

Local designers know that if their customers are in the same area, they have a great deal more to lose if they provide poor service. They know the importance of keeping a good reputation in the market, both online and off-line. They understand that word-of-mouth reputation is even more important when they are dealing with local businesses. You also have the ability to ask for local references in order to check the quality of service they provide. It is very difficult to check on the quality that you may receive from an outsourced designer halfway around the world.

5:  You can expect a higher level of technical support and training

Technical support is needed by everyone. There are times when these technical problems may be because of design issues. If you are unfamiliar with your web hosting control panel or with your new content management system, you may require additional training. If you have a local designer, it is likely that you will get better support and training than you would from an outsourced designer.

6: Local web design companies or professionals are more likely to be there when you need them

The inability to ensure continuity is probably the worst part of outsourcing. When you’re dealing with individuals and smaller companies, this can be especially true. I am sure you can imagine how frustrating is when you find that your web designer or company no longer exists, just when you need to make changes or have more work to be done. Often within one year, sometimes even less, these designers and companies are no longer around. You are much less likely to come across such a problem when you are dealing with local companies that are well-established.

7: You never know the commitment level when you work with a non-local designer

Local web designers and companies are committed to help you achieve your goals and objectives with your website. We have already discussed two reasons which makes this so. One, of course, is as we discussed, the better understanding of your business, your requirements, and your goals. The second is the need for your local designer to maintain their reputation within the local community.

The Internet has made it easy to hire a designer from some far off exotic location, and although it may seem easier, in the long run it may prove to be more costly and more difficult. Even though most of the work done on a website is initially done in the first few months, proper web designing is an ongoing process. Changes keep coming up, and new requirements are often needed to keep your website up and running properly. Because your local web designer most likely has a higher stake in your success and is committed to you and your project, you are much better off with his services.

At Zoom Planet, we have been developing pages on the World Wide Web for over 10 years. We are experienced Nottingham web designers who can create websites that will distinguish your business online. Give us a call on 0115 871 4994 and let us help you achieve your website needs. We can give you a no obligation quote.

Photo: Image courtesy of Jeffrey Zeldman on Flickr

9 things to check before your website goes live

Before you rush into making your new website live, it always good to check to make sure that you have all of the simple things in place!

1. Check Your Spelling

You need to do more than just use spell check. Spell check will not always catch grammar errors or words that are spelled correctly, but not the one you meant to use. You should of course read thoroughly through your content, but even better than this, ask a trusted friend, who is not in your business, to look through the content of your website, to find any possible typing mistakes. This might include missing letters are bad grammar. Even after your website has launched you may still find errors, but you should try to correct all the obvious mistakes early on.

2. Plan Ahead for Future Content

You may find it difficult, after you have launched your site, to find the time to add blog pages or new content. If you create a few blog stories in advance, you may keep your site looking fresh and attractive to prospective clients and visitors, by posting these at a later date. This will allow you to have the fresh content you need without having to sit down and immediately write something on the spot.

3. Check for Broken Links

This one of course is easy to do, click on each of your hyperlinks and make sure they are working properly. This assures that your site is easy to use for your customers. There is nothing more frustrating than a link to nowhere.

4. Check Your Meta-Tags

Search engines, like Google, find information about your site through the use of these tags. The meta-tags are unseen by visitors to your site, however, search engine crawlers use these tags to check if your site is being updated regularly. They look for the sites content and to see who created the site. Be sure to incorporate your keywords, by using the meta-tags correctly. This will give your site the best chance at being found by the search engines. If you are unsure of how to use these meta-tags, be sure to ask your web developer.

5. Different Browsers See your Site Differently

The most common browsers used are Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. You should view your website with each of these common browsers, in order to make sure your site looks the same in each. By making it a practice to have your site look the same in all browsers you are assuring your brands continuity. You’ll also be able to make sure that your site is working properly no matter which browser your customer is using.

6. Mobile Devices

While your checking the functionality, among browsers, it is a good time to check to see how your site looks on mobile devices. Many of your visitors will be utilizing their handheld devices to access your website. The growth of mobile usage is now at a phenomenal rate. You want to make sure that even if your visitors are using a laptop or a tablet, their experiences still are of a positive nature.

7. Use Social Media

As you begin to revamp or launch your website, you should be considering social media as part of that launch. By setting up an account with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as an example, you can lock in your name and prevent others from using it. By using these social medias you can make your presence known online and keep things organized.

8. Make Sure Your Site Can Be Found

While your site is being developed, it is not uncommon for web developers to prevent the finding of your site by search engines. This is done during the development stage to prevent search engines finding your draft pages before your site has been completed. Because this is so common, it is important that you do not forget to enable the searching once your website goes live.

9. Not All Monitors are Created Equal, Size Matters

As you develop your website, you should remember that each of your visitors has his own monitor, your site will be viewed on monitors of a multitude of sizes. The size of the screens range from notebooks all the way up to supersized screens and everything in between. Some pages of course require scrolling from right to left in order to be seen on smaller screens, this is very common. However, if you work with your web designer, you should be able to find the optimal page size for your website, in order to give your visitors the best possible experience.

Photo: Image courtesy of Ged Carroll on Flickr

Why keeping your website fresh is important

There are more reasons than you may be aware of for making sure your website is constantly growing.

  • When you continue to create fresh content for your website, it shows your readers that you care about them and gives you a way to show your personality, as you engage with your customers
  • By having user focused content, you are able to engage with readers and customers that may not be in your usual off-line marketing channels
  • It is well-known, that an important factor to improving your search engine ranking for specific keywords, is by providing continual new website content

Having a print mentality in the web industry is outdated.

  • You no longer have to have everything ready as if it were a final print run. Changes can be made to your website after launch and as often as needed
  • It is understandable that you must meet deadlines, however with a website, you are able to grow gradually over time. Small changes can be made easily and quickly within your website, unlike in the print world, where everything is set in stone
  • In print, the colours you see are the colours you get. However the colours within your website may change slightly on different monitors or displays. It is important to understand the colours and tones on your website

Although a website may mean many things to different people, there is one philosophy that should remain central, that is, it must continue to improve, refine, extend, and adapt.

A new approach:

For instance, if you have been redesigning your website every three years, why not spend your budget in a slightly different way. Spread your budget out over time, instead of spending it all at one time. This will allow you to keep up with trends and not have an outdated website.


  • You will have better control of your budget by spreading it evenly over time
  • You will prevent your website from becoming stale, as it will be continually evolving
  • As new technologies become available, you can make changes to your website, thereby keeping your site on the cutting-edge
  • The needs of your customers and readers can quickly be adapted to
  • Your goals will be achieved far quicker than before because your web team will understand your business needs and objectives and have a greater understanding of how to proceed by adapting to a constantly evolving environment

In Summary:

Utilise your web teams talents and your online marketing team to enhance your business and capture new trends and technologies as they occur. There is no reason for you to be three years behind. Instead of hiring once every three years, spread your cost out over time and have a website that is constantly evolving.

Photo: Image courtesy of Seth Anderson on Flickr

Why your website needs a blog …. and a plan!

Most people who use the Internet know what a blog is. 1999 saw the initial start of blogging platforms like LiveJournal and blogger.com. It seems crazy to think that in 15 or so years, the Internet has gone from a small number of blogs to millions of them.

And, it’s not just about personal blogs. You’re also looking a huge number of business blogs. The problem with businesses setting up a blog is that the company will update it every day for up to a month but start to post less and less, eventually never to post again.

If you don’t want this happening to your business, you need a long-term, solid blogging approach. What your business needs an organised person or team – someone dedicated to providing you with original, engaging content for the blog.   You should have a publishing calendar so that posts are done on a regular basis. And, if you can’t do this yourself, be sure you hire someone who can do the entire thing for you.

Why You Need A Blog For Your Business

A blog that’s both well-planned and carried out is a great tool businesses can use for several reasons:

  • It generates brand awareness
  • It allows businesses to engage with their customers
  • Businesses can become the industry’s leader
  • It enables businesses to create relationships in the niche
  • It produces leads
  • It can showcase a business’ experience

When looked at from the search engine optimization point of view, blogging on a regular basis is extremely helpful to business. It helps to:

  • Bring links by posting outstanding material
  • Boost the amount traffic a website gets
  • Rank the business’ relevant phrases and keywords
  • Produce social signals
  • Provide the latest material so the website ranks high

Now, you never want to update your blog… just because.  Put your attention more on the quality of the blog material, not the quantity of it.  Blog posts need to have some type of purpose behind them. You want them to solve an issue, educate or entertain readers. And, most importantly, they should be timed perfectly.

Don’t forget that updating the blog is just one part of what you need to do. You need to also promote the latest material. Use your Facebook or Twitter accounts to continuously mention your blog and its content.

Why It’s Important To Implement and Use a Blogging Calendar

If you’re going to get and stay organized with your blog, you need to use an editorial blogging calendar.  You can either use the free Internet templates along with the free and paid plugins or editorial calendar software.

A calendar is a visual reminder of the picture – series of posts, patterns, theme, etc. It helps to ensure you cover a wide array of pertinent subjects at the right times.  Use the calendar to remind you have ideas you’ve jotted down.

Why Planning Is An Essential Part To Your Business’ Marketing Strategy

Be sure to implement a long-term blogging plan in your marketing strategy. Be sure you put attention on the whole picture and focus on the following things:

  • What you need to write about
  • Why you need to write it
  • Who is the audience you are writing for
  • How you should write it
  • When to write it
  • How and where to promote the content

You want to be sure that the strategy is flexible and is current in the happenings going on in the niche. The strategy should work to increase the exposure for your brand simultaneously.

Special Note: Blogs can include more than just writing – pictures, podcasts, videos, etc.

If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work laid out in the plain, hire someone to help you do this. You don’t want the ignore chances to help your business because the work is just too much.

Photo: Image courtesy of sunshinecity on Flickr