IDEAS Girl http://www.ideascg.com Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:13:00 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Making Online Videos Worth Sharing http://www.ideascg.com/en/business/marketing-and-promo/item/101-making-online-videos-worth-sharing http://www.ideascg.com/en/business/marketing-and-promo/item/101-making-online-videos-worth-sharing

Nowadays creating videos for marketing campaigns is a must. Creating a viral video is not easy and the bar for creating those that bring awareness and buyer interest is dropping. So here are some tips for marketers that need to be strategic about the components and make-up good videos.

Based on analysis of some of the web's most successful videos, here are six components that are proven to make videos worth sharing:

 

Humor

goodvideoIt can be use even on a corporate environment because it shows your human side, helps getting the prospect's guard down a bit, and not only get but keep their attention while sharing a serious message or call to action.

 

Story

A good video has a purpose, a beginning and end. There should be a story line, no matter how short or superficial. Try to write it down as a script or storyboard before you start producing the video.

 

Briefness

Get to the point quickly. There's no way we are going to watch something that's not premeditated online for more than 5 minutes. One or two minutes is even better. Keep things simple and move on.

 

Relevance

Don't think you are talking to everyone, so it will be best if you know your audience. What do they want? And... what do you want from them? A good video doesn't need millions of impressions, just needs maximum exposure and sharing specifically to the audience you care about.

 

Sex

No, it doesn't have to be explicit. To watch a great video that shows a proper use of sex but sprinkled with humor is a great way to go.

 

Surprise

Doing something viewers aren't expecting is another great one. That could be the only reason to get people to click the “SHARE” button.

 

So what works for you? What components of a video constantly get you to engage and share?

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Marketing & Promo Wed, 04 Jul 2012 20:28:00 +0000
Blogging: Why is everyone doing it? http://www.ideascg.com/en/business/marketing-and-promo/item/100-blogging-why-is-everyone-doing-it? http://www.ideascg.com/en/business/marketing-and-promo/item/100-blogging-why-is-everyone-doing-it?

You know that for any shop to be successful needs quality traffic to generate some sales. That's why adding quality and relevant content to your existing website will, with no doubt, increase your traffic and even your page rank. Google just loves to find fresh and relevant content on a website, specially if that content includes internal site links and is refreshed daily or at least in a weekly basis.

Blogging or writing is also an easy and foolproof way to get your brand, products, and services “out there” and make people learn and read more about your business. Blogging costs vary, from nothing to very little, sometimes can be time consuming but only if you want to do all the work; it shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes to log into your blog system and add an article or even a simple 200 words post. You don't have to be a proffesional writter to be successful, just write about what you know best, your experience, and even your suggestion or opinion, but don't make it too personal.

BloggingA blog can be easily created. Using either WordPress, Joomla or even the module News and Articles for Zen Cart ecommerce solution. And there are plugins and modules to make them display one into another.

Remember to create your content (including the description for your items) interesting, entertaining and informative. That will better the chance of improving your customer base and increasing your sales and referrals.

Keep in mind that doesn't have to be a novel or an article from scratch, for example you can give a trick or tutorial on how to do something that is related to your business. If you sell shoes, tell buyers which is the best practice to make their shoes last. And what about comparing two or three items that you sell of different brands, saying what are the pros and cons? That will help buyers with their decision making you the expert on what you sell. They will see that you not “only” sell this stuff but you are passionate about your business and know VALUABLE information.

In other words tell customers WHY they should buy from you and not your competitor, exposing the VALUE of having you as the seller of something they want or need.

Blogging has shown that is an effective marketing tool, and almost every big company with Internet presence nowadays has a blog; often used in conjunction with social media network sites. So don't get left behind... start blogging today.

 

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Marketing & Promo Sat, 19 May 2012 19:51:02 +0000
Digitec Consulting Group http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/99-digitec-consulting-group http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/99-digitec-consulting-group Digitec Consulting Group

 

Description
Used to be a computer retail store, network installations, system maintenance, and consulting services. Now they are more focused to custom requests and consulting services. First designs are from 2001 and their new logo is from begging of 2009. DigiTec Consulting Group is a partner of IDEAS Creative Group since 2000.

LANGUAGE
Spanish

Technology

First designs were with Corel Draw & Photopaint Latest with Photoshop C3

Client

Digitec Consulting Group

Status

Offline
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Logos Fri, 23 Dec 2011 03:56:24 +0000
Three Main Reasons Why You Should Consider to Upgrade http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/item/97-three-main-reasons-why-you-should-consider-to-upgrade http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/item/97-three-main-reasons-why-you-should-consider-to-upgrade

Every year I upgrade our website design and scripts. I'm hoping to show off our new design in the next 2-3 weeks (including main site). Usually I'm questioned by customers why I do this. I'm not talking about the regular maintenance you give your website in a daily or weekly basis, I'm talking about the major improvements that don't take just one day to be done. Here are the 3 main reasons we (sometimes my team is involved) upgrade and/or upgrade our site at least once a year and why you should consider doing the same:

  1. upgradeLike fashion, web design changes throughout time. If you don't refresh your look from time to time, one day you will “wake up” realize that your website is stuck in time and the graphics that looked amazing 3 years ago now look dreary. Outdated graphics and pictures will harm more your site than doing any good. By refreshing your site at least once a year (it can be just a facelift, not an entire redesign) you will avoid of staying behind your competitors when it comes to not only design but in how practical and secure is your site to your visitors.

  2. I like to have an upgrade around IDEAS anniversary. I decided, a while ago, that some of my energy and knowledge should go towards my own redesign and maintenance (most of it goes to our customers) of my website. It's nice to start another year (for IDEAS) feeling fresh getting ready for the Holidays and the New Year.

  3. In addition to the “looks” for the design, I upgrade the scripts, install/uninstall modules and addons to make it more up to date with our needs and our customer's. We get rid of items/services we don't offer any more from our catalog, and update prices and descriptions where needed. We offer more services now than before and we approach projects different. As our experience grow, our business practices change. It's very important to check our policies, terms and conditions, shipping, offerings, etc.

These are the three main reasons we “make time” and put the effort to redesign, revamp, and/or upgrade our website every year. Some websites may take longer than others to update or getting a new design live, it will depend on how much you have in your plate but I make sure to give ourselves a facelift every year. Do you do the same?

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Web Development Wed, 26 Oct 2011 18:36:40 +0000
Less Talking, More Doing http://www.ideascg.com/en/business/item/96-less-talking-more-doing http://www.ideascg.com/en/business/item/96-less-talking-more-doing

You are probably sucked in everyday with so many things to do. Between your email, meetings, RSS feeds, and social networks you can get lost and even waste a lot of time. You might feel occupied, pulled in hundreds of directions, but reality is that you aren't getting anywhere or getting anything done. No steps forwards  are done for yourself, your team and/or your business.

The way to play this is to have a plan for every day, where you set priorities and stay focused on the things you planed are important to get done that day. You have to be disciplined and focused to get the priorities done and dismiss any distraction that will take you away of what you are doing (even your internal thoughts.

I recommend to make the following 5 “things to do” part of your daily plan. Progressively they will become part of your routine, and you will improve yourself and the success in achieving goals will come along:

Learn
folderblocksTry to learn something new everyday. Doesn't matter how or what, it can be from other people, from a book, a magazine, a podcast, live show or seminar, online, webinar, or even a dictionary. It won't take probably more than 15 minutes a day and you will be learning 365 (sometimes 366) new things in a year investing only 2 weeks of work sometimes less. However you do it, spend time everyday making yourself better and smarter.

Build
Just create something, it doesn't have to be a new piece of art (unless that's what you want). Just maybe something new that will bring more people to you and help you make more money. You don't have to be a software programmer, a manufacturer or an architect to build something. You can write, you can blog, you can take pictures of the products you sell, or even put together the cradle for the new baby. No matter your role, the more you build, the more things that will promote your targets and objectives in your life.

Network
Another way of saying socialize or partner. This one could be combined with the “Learn” objective above. A big part of meeting people is what you can learn from them in so many ways. Do this in a way that you can meet new people every day, this can be accomplished online and offline. Try to provide value to them in the process or balance and merge your talents and expertise to make it worth it.

Sell
Selling doesn't always require the exchange of money. Sell your expertise, your ideas, your abilities, your product or service. Need founding for your new project? Sell your idea to an investor. Need an approval for that idea to make your office be more productive? Sell it to your supervisor. Remember not to overprice or sell short yourself.

Do
Checking your email every 10 minutes, doesn't count. Answering all your calls, doesn't count. Set up 2 sets of hours a day where you are going to just DO something and not answer any calls or read any email that come through. Also setting up meeting is not a success, if something gets accomplished after the meeting, then you can call it that way. Your doings have to have real, direct and significant impact on your business, your customers, your personal and professional goals and ambitions. You have to define those ambitions and start more doing and less talking.



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Business Wed, 28 Sep 2011 13:55:20 +0000
How and Why Use the Zen Cart Move, Link, and Copy Features http://www.ideascg.com/en/tutorials/item/95-mlcfeatures http://www.ideascg.com/en/tutorials/item/95-mlcfeatures
Zen Cart has the Move / Link / Copy features but a lot of store owners don't know they are there, why or how to use them. On these 2 videos I'm going to talk about the differences between them and how/why use them. Hope this helps you to manage better your Zen Cart store inventory and make shopping an easy experience for your customers.

There's also a "Multiple" button from which you can do this process to several categories at the same time. Remember to always do backups when working with your inventory, in case you mess up, you can always do a restore and put it back how it was.

Experiment and play around with Zen Cart features, and discover all the good stuff this awesome platform has to offer when it comes to shop management.

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Tutorials Mon, 29 Aug 2011 16:46:35 +0000
What Is A Good Zen Cart Custom Design Made Of? http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/93-good-zencart-custom-design http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/93-good-zencart-custom-design
Having a good Zen Cart template design is mandatory if you wish to ensure the success of your online business ventures.  The focus of this article will be to help get you on that path.

It is important to understand that the same principles that apply to traditional marketing will also pertain to those of your Zen Cart Custom Design.

The Importance Of Appearance:

Appearance is very important.  People are naturally attracted to things that not only look good on the inside, but the outside as well.  But good looks by themselves are only superficial.  The site must also be appealing.  In today’s market most of the time what looks well also sells well.

A good looking website is much more likely to keep the visitor on the site, thereby increasing your chances of getting the sale.  Proper color schemes play a vital part in the appearance and subsequent success of the site.  This is usually achieved by having a light backdrop contrasted with dark text.  Studies have shown that if you try the opposite it tends to irritate visitors.

Zen Cart Custom DesignEasy To Navigate And Browser Friendly:

Your Zen Cart Custom Design layout should be relatively simple and easy to navigate.  Visitors like things simplified as this helps save them time.  Do not make the layout confusing or you will annoy visitors who will leave and likely never come back. 

Your site should be designed so that it downloads fast.  You want to make sure it is compatible with all the major browsers, as well as the various platforms and operating systems in existence.

Use The Appropriate Visual Content And Text:

It is of the utmost importance that you have the correct mix of visual content and text.  Sure, text is mandatory to make sure your site is search engine friendly, however, there are also times, specially when selling tangible items, that images will be required.  Selling online needs good pictures since the customer is not present to touch, feel or rotate the item, good pictures (sometimes few of same item) will better your chances to convert visitors into buyers.

But also keep in mind that images are not taken into consideration by the search engines when indexing and that but simply looking at a picture not all features and full description is present.  You must make sure that a great description for the item will clear some things that cannot be represented by a picture, like measurements, other colors available and other details not visible in the picture; otherwise the image can end up being more of a detriment than an asset.

User Friendliness – An Absolute Must:

Your shopping cart must accommodate your visitors in every way conceivable.  They are your lifeblood.  And it is absolutely necessary that your Zen Cart custom design be created with the needs and priorities of those visitors in mind.

Your site should be the type that people enjoy, come back to, and hopefully recommend to others also.  That is free word-of-mouth advertising.  Your billing system should be set up to be easy to use and include everything up front like shipping and taxes when applicable.

With that said, it is highly recommended that you utilize our services. We are well-experienced, highly qualified professional Zen Cart developers.  This will ensure that you have a well-developed shopping cart.  Good luck in your ventures.

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eCommerce Sun, 28 Aug 2011 04:58:42 +0000
Social Media Marketing - Now Is The Time To Do It http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/91-social-media-marketing-now-is-the-time-to-do-it http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/91-social-media-marketing-now-is-the-time-to-do-it
Nowadays, consumers are relying on technology to achieve any number of tasks. They are “plugged in." Yes, they are linked worldwide and locally through social media networks.

Instead of flipping through catalogs, magazines and newspapers, they’re browsing websites and searching for information and online reviews about the products and services they want. They’re throwing to the garbage direct mailers and checking their email for coupons instead. What about phonebooks? Very few people under 70 use them.
Today, they’re checking search engines even to find nearby businesses in their neighborhood. In fact, according to one recent survey, 97 percent of consumers use search engines to shop locally and the revenue from all their internet shopping adds up. The eMarketer forecast that total online retail sales will reach nearly 224 billion by the year 2014. It’s all further evidence that consumers everywhere including your customers are moving away from telephone directories, direct mailers and catalogs.

So why are you  still spending money on Yellow Pages, newspaper ads and other old school marketing? Your customers want you to be engaged. They want to interact with you and your business. Whether you know it or not, your prospects & customers are using social media. Your customers are looking for information, engagement and communication through a full range of avenues like blogs, emails, videos and even tweets. Marketing online isn’t an option anymore — it’s a requirement.  Good news is that only 26% of small businesses have invested any time or effort in marketing    online. There is still time to get established before it’s too late

Your competitor is already taking advantage of these tools. An annual survey by The e-Tailing Group revealed that 58% of web merchants are developing social networking strategies. The 80% are beginning email campaigns and almost 50% are adopting online video strategies. So you realize how imperative these tools are to control your online success and gaining a competitive edge.

Now, we understand that updating and modifying your online catalog, updating your social network, creating and launching email campaigns and newsletters, and posting in your blog it’s too much to manage and by the time you’ve hired an SEO firm, a webmaster and an email marketer, you’ve washed-out your marketing budget and eliminated any possibility of earning a return on investment. But it doesn’t have to be so complicated.

What if you could access a solution that gives you the power to manage all of those online marketing avenues in one place? As industry leaders, IDEAS Promo Marketing makes it possible. We’re your one-stop shop for every aspect of your online presence.

We provide customized and complete services that help businesses like yours attract local prospects, engage audiences with quality media, interact with customers through personalized targeted messages and that’s only the start. Integrate all the elements so they amplify each other - search engines, video, social media, maps, mobile marketing. We will direct the attention to your specific market so you can connect with prospects and customers, and build a brand loyalty by using the power of each unique online marketing channel.

Different to most web marketing firms that only concentrate in one area; we manage your business online presence holistically by offering a totally integrated, flexible and dynamic solution that fit the specific goals of your business. Contact us today and discover the IDEAS Promo Marketing difference.
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Social Media and Networking Sun, 31 Jul 2011 02:14:18 +0000
Tutorial on How to Create an Item for Random Payments for Zen Cart http://www.ideascg.com/en/tutorials/item/89-tutorial-on-how-to-create-an-item-for-random-payments-for-zen-cart http://www.ideascg.com/en/tutorials/item/89-tutorial-on-how-to-create-an-item-for-random-payments-for-zen-cart
Very useful tutorial if you need to collect or bill a customer not from an item you have in your store inventory but if someone owes you an invoice or there's any additional charge from any order and they paid through Paypal or any other online payment and has to be the customer who process it.

This is a fast and easy way without the need to install any module or add-on.

You can add attributes to the item so that customers can enter Invoice number/s, dates, or any other detail regarding to the payment.

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Tutorials Fri, 01 Jul 2011 20:16:25 +0000
PSD to Zen Cart Custom Design http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/87-psd-to-zen-cart-custom-design http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/87-psd-to-zen-cart-custom-design
So, there you are with an excellent PSD design on your hands.  Problem is, you need it converted into a Zen Cart custom design theme/template so you can conjure up a great website.  The next step is to hire an experienced Zen Cart coder to get you on your way.  

PSD-File-iconHowever, there are some very important things to bear in mind when you are working with your Zen Cart developer to ensure a smooth work project.  Going over these important points with your developer will help in assuring that you get the best custom Zen Cart design possible.
  • State your requirements clearly right from the start.  You should always list each and every aspect of the undertaking to your developer, and never assume that they will automatically know what your goals are from just looking at the design in PSD extension mode.  There are countless of questions or issues that can arise both before and during completion of the project, so…discuss everything.  By doing this, you can help avoid problems with your Zen Cart Design project down the road.
  • During construction of the website, and especially after completion, check the site on all internet browsers to make sure it displays properly.  If it doesn’t then it is the developer’s job to correct it so that it will.  The major browsers to check it on will be Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Safari.  And, don’t just check the cover or home page, but all pages on your site to make sure they show up correctly.
  • Then, after this has been done and everything is satisfactory, have the developer check the functionality of the entire website as well.  This is to ensure that there are not problems such as broken links and so on.
  • Give your programmer/developer reasonable deadlines to work within.  Most programmers, at least the good ones, will usually work pretty hard to meet the deadlines laid down by their clients.  In doing so, allow for unforeseen circumstances that can arise along the way.  Make sure there is a little flexibility in the deadline.  Because even though your developer will in all likelihood try to finish pretty fast, you don’t want them rushed to the point where they start making mistakes.
  • And last, but certainly not least;  Communication between you and your programmer is vital.  Always strive to work collaboratively with your Custom Zen Cart designer.  This can help ensure a smooth outcome, and perhaps open the door to an ongoing working relationship with them.
Make sure the entire above mentioned are discussed when working with your programmer/developer, and you should come out with a Zen Cart Design you could both be proud of.

So no worries if you have already your awesome PhotoShop design and you don't know how to code it or don't know the Zen Cart template system. Put your design in our hand to do the hard work for you, while you do something that you know about, your business! Contact us for a consultation, no strings attached.
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eCommerce Wed, 29 Jun 2011 01:18:43 +0000
Social Media Marketing http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/84-social-media-marketing http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/84-social-media-marketing
The Marketing Paradigm has shifted. Nearly all consumers (97%) now use online media when researching products or services. The misconception is that only young people use these technologies when in fact, nearly all of the buying public now uses them.
Marketing has also shifted from a one-way broadcast to a multi-point conversation. In the past, communications were “broadcast” exclusively through mass marketing channels like radio, TV and newspapers. However with social media,  much of the communication is controlled by the prospects through services like Facebook and Twitter, which have more than 700 million members combined. Additionally, YouTube, gets 300 million visitors a month.



What if I could solve your biggest problem stressing you out in your business today?

As a business owner, one of the toughest challenges today is getting new clients and customers. There is a unique way to get new customers which is totally legitimate, easy to do, and it’s cutting edge. If this ad has peaked your interest and you want to flood your business with new clients, why not pick up the phone and call to get your free consultation 787-283-9076, or send us your request through our contact us page.

This really works!

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Social Media and Networking Mon, 30 May 2011 00:57:13 +0000
The 3 "Must Have" Extensions for Joomla CMS http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/item/82-the-3-must-have-extensions-for-joomla-cms http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/item/82-the-3-must-have-extensions-for-joomla-cms

CMS (Content Management System) scripts are popular for developing various types of websites through the years. Even though they were started to create blogs easily, now there are from portfolios to full service business sites being created based in Joomla, Wordpress, Zen Cart, etc.

Usually when you are starting a site you may treat the visual design as your first priority to attract and keep traffic but the components that are invisible behind the curtain are way more important to bring the traffic and make them stay in your site for a little longer. Security concerns, backup, SEO, are only some of the things that should not be overlooked; otherwise your beautiful website with hundreds of pages and colorful designs may not attract even a handful amount of visits. For your convenience here are 3 extensions for Joomla CMS that will help you to manage your site in a smart way and create richer content in less time.


AKEEBA BACKUP

akeeba-backupIf you are looking for a powerful yet simple extension for keeping a backup of your Joomla! site, Akeeba Backup, the best (IMHO) open-source backup component, was created for you! Created to handle big sites and avoid server timeout. It creates a backup archive that contains all the files, a database snapshot and a restoration point.

Akeeba Backup comes in two versions that are called Core and Professional. Core version is free (Non-Commercial), provides some basic backup tools and an unlimited service. This is the version that IDEAS install in all Joomla that we install. But for more advanced options, you can try the Professional edition for a small fee. Always backup - backup - backup.

NINJA XPLORER

ninjaxplorerHave you ever tried to work through FTP and Joomla just doesn't let you override some of the files? Even with permissions sometimes it's just a nightmare and a full pullhair experience. Well, Ninja Xplorer solves that because is the premiere file system explorer for your J1.5 website.

You can edit, upload, delete, zip, unzip and download files directly from your Joomla Administrators panel without the need to go through your FTP. Also it's convinient if you are not on your primarly desktop/laptop and/or you are just using a borrowed computer.

 

JCE-Joomla Content Editor

jce-logoJCE is the award-winning WYSIWYG editor plug-in for creating and editing Joomla's contents easily. It has a cool content creating environment with beautiful familiar options to make the user experience better. Add a set of tools to your Joomla!® environment that give you the power to create the kind of content you want, without limitations, and without needing to know or learn HTML, XHTML, CSS... Moreover, it is free and extendable with different additional plugins. It can also be customizable in some extent.

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Web Development Sun, 29 May 2011 20:20:06 +0000
How to Optimize an eCommerce Site Without Content http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/seo/item/78-how-to-optimize-an-ecommerce-site-without-content http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/seo/item/78-how-to-optimize-an-ecommerce-site-without-content

A difficult question from Paddy Moogan in the UK: "Hi, what are your opinions on optimizing an Ecommerce website where the main pages or products may not necessarily be rich in content?" That's a tough question, right? Essentially, you're saying here's a place where you can buy products and there's not a lot of content or maybe the content is duplicated from a bunch of places. So, my short answer is, you know, put on your user hat.

 

 

An often issue I find with ecommerce websites is exactly what Matt says. The customers copy the descriptions exactly as how they are on their supplier or manufacturer brochure or website. Then they end up with many duplicates of the same information. Usually the manufacturer or supplier was the first to insert that information on the web. For that and many other reasons this new shop will never rank high for those items because it doesn't have any value for search engines. This can be fixed rewriting the content. Yes, it takes a lot of time to do dozens, hundreds and sometimes thousands of descriptions; but I didn't say it was easy, neither that would not take much time; and in case you don't have the time, maybe the money to get it done.

 

You can have the help of a thesaurus tool right there while you are rewriting. You can even add your own personal touch to make the description even better and unique. Those bots will start coming to your items faster than you think.

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Search Enginge Optimization Sun, 13 Feb 2011 22:24:55 +0000
How to Optimize an eCommerce Site Without Content http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/77-how-to-optimize-an-ecommerce-site-without-content http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/77-how-to-optimize-an-ecommerce-site-without-content

A difficult question from Paddy Moogan in the UK: "Hi, what are your opinions on optimizing an Ecommerce website where the main pages or products may not necessarily be rich in content?" That's a tough question, right? Essentially, you're saying here's a place where you can buy products and there's not a lot of content or maybe the content is duplicated from a bunch of places. So, my short answer is, you know, put on your user hat.

 

 

An often issue I find with ecommerce websites is exactly what Matt says. The customers copy the descriptions exactly as how they are on their supplier or manufacturer brochure or website. Then they end up with many duplicates of the same information. Usually the manufacturer or supplier was the first to insert that information on the web. For that and many other reasons this new shop will never rank high for those items because it doesn't have any value for search engines. This can be fixed rewriting the content. Yes, it takes a lot of time to do dozens, hundreds and sometimes thousands of descriptions; but I didn't say it was easy, neither that would not take much time; and in case you don't have the time, maybe the money to get it done.

 

You can have the help of a thesaurus tool right there while you are rewriting. You can even add your own personal touch to make the description even better and unique. Those bots will start coming to your items faster than you think.

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eCommerce Sat, 12 Feb 2011 23:26:20 +0000
The eCommerce Train is not Derailed - It Just Switched to Another Track http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/74-the-ecommerce-train-is-not-derailed-it-just-switched-to-another-track http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/74-the-ecommerce-train-is-not-derailed-it-just-switched-to-another-track
Time and again, we hear the stories about how a web master sets up a promising web store - maybe even with a powerful exact match domain name - only to see their bounce rate soaring as visitors take their ideas and make the trip to their local supermarket. What's going wrong? Why are only 3% of small businesses currently selling their products and services online while online shopping has increased 50%? In July of 2010,  Peter Coles (aka Kuroi) posted on his Zen Cart Unofficial Blog about approaching the black sheep of ecommerce - electronics. Nobody but the powerhouses like Amazon seem to know how to compete against large offline chains. What is the problem?

ecommercecollageOne word - trust. While it is true that you can compete by choosing a specialization - as outlined in the Zen Cart blog post "Will My Business Work?", there is a much better approach. Web masters need to begin understanding the importance of creating value. To keep your customers interested, you need to do more than just advertise your products. You need to create a web presence with vast amounts of good information (in the form of content and other media) to keep your visitors coming back and convince them that they have a problem that you can solve. Web masters tend to spend too much time on SEO advertising; but once the traffic comes, they're not interested in advertisements they've seen a thousand times before.

Unless you have a multi-million dollar budget, forget about selling wholesale electronics as a whole - too many people have beat you to the punch. To successfully sell your products, you need to choose a niche market and create value behind that market. It's not enough to "focus on a high end product category, such as home theatre systems," as suggested by the Zen Cart Blog. Instead, you need to focus on a specific audience and develop your niche to address their needs.

So, instead of trying to sell home theatre systems, you need to market 3D home theatre systems to action movie buffs - with plenty of valuable content (like reviews, testimonials, tutorials, videos, etc.) to keep such an audience interested. You'll spend less money on your ecommerce efforts and secure a larger ROI. After all, your customers won't find the minimum wage lackey at Wal-mart that can talk about the top 10 action movies for a 3D home theatre system... but you can...
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eCommerce Thu, 28 Oct 2010 23:35:20 +0000
Why you shouldn’t start your own business! http://www.ideascg.com/en/business/item/73-why-you-shouldn’t-start-your-own-business http://www.ideascg.com/en/business/item/73-why-you-shouldn’t-start-your-own-business
After all over 90% of businesses fail so chances are if you’re reading this and pondering with the thought of starting your own business the statistics are in your favor to ensure your business will fail.

As I researched today’s post, I started with the best search query my brain could mentally conjure up. The search term I came up with was “90% of businesses fail” The reason I chose this search query was because I had heard it so many times. You hear it from your friends when you tell them your ideas, family members, co-workers and current employers. They all do there best to reiterate to you that the statistics say you are destined for failure.

So I hit submit and the almighty Google gave me 50,700,000 results for 90% of businesses fail in an astonishing .85 seconds. I quickly glance at my first result. Sure enough we find our first result references a study that concludes the reason 90% of businesses fail is because of lack of knowledge and skills to properly run a business.

I believe this is utter nonsense, look around and I’m sure we can find some extremely dumb and non-intelligent people running successful businesses. I don’t claim to be a genius or expert in anything. I only try my best and do whatever I can to achieve success.

There are plenty of other reasons why you shouldn’t start a business. Let me give you a few to make this article even more dismal. Don’t worry, that’s my sarcasm coming through! You’ll have to learn how to read me properly.

Other Reasons why you shouldn’t start a business are listed below. I’ll comment on them after writing this list.
  1. You have no money.
  2. You aren’t creative.
  3. You can’t think of a business to start.
  4. You’re scared of failing.
  5. You’re disorganized.
  6. You are in debt up to your knees. Related to post #1
  7. Spouse won’t let you.
  8. You’re too busy.
Having no money is a very common reason why many people shouldn’t start a business. After all, I’ll be the first to tell you that if you have thousands of dollars in credit card debt or other bad debts (mortgages are good debt) then these may in fact be good reasons NOT to start a business. And if you aren’t creative or you can’t even think of a business to start then really, what’s the point? Besides the mess in your office, the piled up credit card bills, your nagging wife and your 9-5 job and the mounting self doubt what else could possibly be a reason not to start a business?

Oh yeah! I almost forgot, remember what we started with? Over 90% of businesses fail! So technically the stats overwhelmingly say you’re screwed.

Many other writers, friends, family, co-workers and current employers would end the article right here. Your chances of success are pretty much none, zip, nada, goodbye. So why continue with this post?

Well I have something groundbreaking to tell you…. They are all wrong.

IN FACT! Your odds of becoming successful on your own terms are actually much better than you think. I’m not kidding. Sure things may be tough but it’s more than possible to be wildly successful. Let me try and show you how.

Right off the bat, forget the 90% of businesses failing statistic. Its garbage, its a sham, its hogwash, its jealously, but mostly its fear! The majority of the times you hear this statement from other writers, friends, family, co-workers and current employers what you’re actually hearing is the sound of fear. I’m not kidding! As funny as it sounds, most people including other writers, friends, family, co-workers and current employers are scared or jealous that you might actually make it! They are afraid that while you go on with a much greater chance of creating and controlling your own destiny, their own destiny will be created by an employer. So next time you are told the awful statistic when you tell someone you’re going to start your own business, look them strait in the eye and conjure up the biggest, saddest puppy dog eyes you can make and say “well I guess thats the chance I’ll have to take.” Don’t break eye contact, be strong, and with your nose sniff like a dog. Then you’ll know what fear smells like.

contentWhat about the rest of the reasons why you shouldn’t start your own business? Well, they are all plausible and valid reasons. You may just have to rethink your strategy because they can all be overcome. For example, if you have no money and are in debt up to your ears then it may not be wise to invest in a heavy capital intensive business from the gecko. For example, if you’re heavily in debt but have a dream to start your own magazine, it may be wise to start online before investing 100k in a printing press. If you’re looking for the greatest opportunity for the lowest bang for your buck then I suggest starting a web business. This could be as simple as selling junk on eBay. In fact, if you haven’t tried selling on eBay you really should! Just grab some junk from the garage, snap a photo and put it on eBay. I bet you’ll sell it. I’ve watched my father sell pieces of scrap metal. It’s hilarious and millions of people are making it huge every day on eBay selling the most bizarre items.

Would if you aren’t creative and can’t think of a business to start? C’mon! This is just a lame excuse! Start anything then! We ALL have something we like. Start a blog about Gardening if you love gardening, put some Google Adsense on there and just write! Don’t worry about Search Engine Optimization or traffic for a while! Just forget about it and write. I can almost guarantee you’ll start to see some clicks here and there. Don’t get caught up in the hoopla of trying to make millions of your website the first week. Just write good content. If you build it, they will come. This has never been more true than with the web. Except you can’t just build a field, forget about it and expect them to come. You’ve got to make that field extraordinary! Surround it with corn stalks, build stands, install a scoreboard, hire popcorn vendors, get the best dirt you can find and each day make it better. Even if you just add a little every day.

If you’re totally disorganized, starting a business can be the perfect way to teach you organization skills. There are so many unique tools and websites out there these days to help with the basic functions of running a business! They can also help you stay very organized. Even if your desk is a mess, you’ll at least look organized to your customers.

If you run into the situation where your spouse won’t let you start a business, chances are your spouse feels that way for a reason. It’s not that he/she doesn't think you’re smart enough. For example, you may be asking if you can quit your job and try and start a web business. This is the wrong approach. You need to start your online business in your spare time and spend some time nourishing, learning and teaching your spouse about what you’re doing. Eventually, you’ll start to make money and soon that money will turn into more money and soon you’re spouse will see the advantages of you running your business full-time. I never recommend leaving a job (even though it sucks and you’re miserable) until you have a decent plan and have started your venture on your own time.

I hoped you enjoyed today’s article and it motivated you a bit and showed you all the reasons why you SHOULD start a business.


Article Author: Noah Fleming
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Business Mon, 15 Jan 2007 16:43:00 +0000
Is Your Website Outdated? http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/design/item/72-is-your-website-outdated? http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/design/item/72-is-your-website-outdated?
I can think about some things that are always annoying: Wait for a person that always arrives late to meetings; that my computer comes up to an error before saving the job I've been working on for a long period of time; spam emails.

Even though, there's one very worse than those mentioned and it's an outdated website. Let's say I get a flyer of a company with a product or service that I interest. The first thing I do is write down the website and throw out the flyer (why put away more papers?), when I go to the site to know more about the company, just there start the problems.
In many occasions I found out that the website is down or doesn't exist anymore (so why put the address on a flyer?), it is in construction, or simply have the products and services that don't exist anymore.

Even worse, since I don't find the information I want/need, I go to the contact us page to find the phone number/s to talk to someone and get more information, just to find out that the phone/s aren't listed or the ones there were changed, there's no address of the company, and when I send an email there's no response. What comes to my mind? I want to buy something from this company and they don't want to sell to me.

comsoo If you have a website, these are some points that you should always have in mind if you want to get benefits from the Internet, instead of only represent an expense:

1. Revise your website at least every 6 months. Be sure that all your products and services are updated.

2. Verify that your data of contact is correct, including your address and telephone/s.

3. If you have a contact form, verify that is working properly and that your email is receiving it without errors. Also check your email frecuently and respond to those emails you get.

4. Check that all your pages are active and all the links work. It's very annoying to get "page cannot be displayed" while browsing a website.

5. Make simple design changes once in a while. Ask your web designer to change the pictures, include new information or articles, what about some color changes? Remember that you should give your customers something new each time they visit you.

6. Last but not least, if your website has been "In Construction" for the last year, start immediately to search for a web designer to work on it. Remember this is a main element in the promotion and development of your business nowadays.
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Design Fri, 12 Jan 2007 12:54:00 +0000
Promotions: Do They Have a Place? http://www.ideascg.com/en/business/marketing-and-promo/item/71-promotions-do-they-have-a-place? http://www.ideascg.com/en/business/marketing-and-promo/item/71-promotions-do-they-have-a-place?

When your mechanic sends you a coupon for a discount on an oil change, or your local coffee shop rewards you with a free cup of coffee every tenth time you buy, you're seeing a promotional program in action.

 

A promotion is a planned strategy for increasing sales over a short period. A promotion adds value to the product or service offered. It stimulates sales for reasons other than the product's inherent benefits.

 

We call those reasons incentives. Sometimes the incentive is designed to specifically make a sale, as in "$2.00 off medium pizza with this coupon." Other times the incentive is planned simply to expose the customer to the product, to break down preliminary barriers that are roadblocks to a future sale.

 

With a promotional program, you can persuade people to try your product, to experiment with new beliefs about your service; you can shift buying habits so that light users find reasons to buy more.

 

stuffersWho uses promotions? There are business-to-business promotional programs, and there are consumer programs. We'll talk mainly about consumer programs. The concepts we'll discuss are really about the same for both. Remember, people do business with people. It's just a matter of what market you're trying to influence (end users or intermediaries).

 

Different businesses are drawn to different styles of promotion. The most frequent users of promotional programs are the retail services, like car care, hair care, and restaurants. Coupons are the most common promotion for these types of businesses; dry cleaners use coupons extensively, and so do groceries. It's the ability to track results, as well as their proven effectiveness, that makes coupon offers so popular.

 

In the business-to-business world, suppliers frequently engage in promotions by offering sale prices. You are less likely to see coupons here, because the patterns of purchasing are a little different. The person making the decision to buy may not be the same person who is writing the check, so requiring the physical coupon to be used would be an unnecessary barrier to the desired sale.

 

Promotions work because people like something for nothing. They respond to two-for-one offers, and they love a good deal or free extras with their purchases. Special promotions help lots of businesses achieve their marketing objectives, such as combating seasonal cycles or stealing attention from the competition.

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Marketing & Promo Wed, 08 Sep 2010 02:52:04 +0000
Elba M. Martínez-Pérez http://www.ideascg.com/en/ideas/the-group/item/65-ideasgirl http://www.ideascg.com/en/ideas/the-group/item/65-ideasgirl
Entrepreneur, Web Developer, and Promotional Products Consultant.

ideasgirlpicAfter working as an Administrative Assistant for over 10 years, and obtaining her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, she decided to take a break. During that break she got a job as independent sales representative selling photographic business cards. After the business owner not doing things right, she decided to partnership with another salesman and they created IDEAS Photoprints.

Created her first business when she was in 6th. Grade; designing, making, and selling "jewelry" created with electrical cables. Her mind is always thinking about new business ideas and how make them work.  Elba (AKA IDEASGirl) will help you setting up your website for whatever type of venture you want to start on the Internet.

Workaholic, chocaholic, and window shopaholic... Elba Maria doesn't like to be called "graphic designer" because she never got a degree in design but she always was very passioned about creating and designing all her life. Also opening a business that she didn't know anything about and making over $200k in sales the first year of operations, should say something about her.

She moved to Canada in 2003 and later on the business took another direction towards Web Development, that’s why the name changed on 2007 to IDEAS Creative Group. She lived there for 7 years and now she's back in Puerto Rico with many ideas to transform in businesses.

Featured in the National Web Design Directory
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The Group Mon, 02 Aug 2010 03:49:57 +0000
How To Write Your Descriptions http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/64-how-to-write-your-descriptions http://www.ideascg.com/en/web-development/ecommerce/item/64-how-to-write-your-descriptions
This is no magic formula, if something else is working for you don't change it, but if your descriptions are blend and aren't bringing any sales, then I suggest you to try these tips instead (and see what happens).

Writting ads, descriptions and sales page is not easy and involves much more than "a formula", but having this "construction base" should put you on the right track to write a great marketing piece.
Probably you have heard about "AIDA" and "who's that girl?" you'd ask.... Well, there's no girl involved here (only IDEASGirl). Those are only the initials of a formula used by marketers "Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action".

As you are writing your description/ad/sales page, try to put the shoes of your prospects. What are they looking for? How they will benefit from your product or service? Furthermore, why they should buy from you and not the competitor?

Remember... to take your time when doing this -even a short ad can take a non-writer as long as 5 to 10 hours to get it right.

These are my 10 tips:

1. Title (the "Attention" part)

This is, the most important part - it has to be a bold, big unique and not too long. It has to SAY something, PROMISE something, give them a reason to read more.

2. Sub-Title or First line of description.
Same of the title to make you read this line, the sub-title should get the reader interested to CONTINUE reading. Another effect is to affirm that's what he NEEDS.

3. Benefits (the "Interest" part)
Use the benefits of your product/service (instead its features) to put your prospect in the panorama of the picture. What problem are they solving with your product/service, How will they feel if they use it? How would they feel if they missed out?

4. Features.
This is more "technical" like measurements, size, what's included, what is not (don't like, don't hide), etc.

5. Proof.
Remember my article about testimonials? Testimonials work, real people talking about you and/or your product. Amazing facts are great. Easy-to-understand statistics are used everyday in marketing, too. All that kind of things. Create the desire and prove that your product/service does what you say it will do.

6. Risk Reversal.
What about money-back guarantee? There's no risk whatsoever.

7. Photo.
This is VERY and I repeat VERY important, it will definitely increase your response rate. Even if it's a service, show a picture of you doing that service, or it has to do with accounting show a picture of a calculator or a GL book, etc. Show someone enjoying your product (like eating that cake, or modeling that blouse). Illustrate the benefits. All thise give personality to the ad and makes it look real.

8. Call to Action.
You have to ask your prospects what to do. Laughing Seriously!! If the rest of the description is reasonably well structured,  they will act and do what you tell them to do. Here is when your page becomes your best sales representative.

Now.. if you really want to kick it up a notch:

10. Create a Sense of Urgency (maybe with a special price).
Zen Cart features will help you with this. You can set up those specials to show percentege or money amount in the savings, with a different color of regular price, and you can set up special ahead and do the ads for a specific time period. Tell them if there's a limit of purchases on that special, to get something free with that purchase, etc. You get the drift right?

Try to write different ways and give it to another person to read them for you (that works great) maybe you didn't mean how another person can interpret it and you will need to do changes.

You will get better and better after each product/service you do.
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eCommerce Sun, 01 Aug 2010 04:23:09 +0000