How to Use Vine For Your Business and Make Your Brand Go Viral

January 21st, 2014

Vine

Nowadays, it seems that everywhere you turn, another social media site is popping up! First, there was Facebook. Soon after that came Twitter, then Instagram, and other sites. And now, there’s another site taking the social media world by storm! Maybe you’ve heard of Vine, or maybe you haven’t. It is steadily gaining popularity, and sure to be the next big thing in social media.

But, what is Vine exactly? Vine is actually owned by Twitter, and was launched in 2013. Differing from YouTube or other video sites, it lets users record 6- second video clips, and the clips play continuously on a loop. Six seconds may not seem like a lot, but it’s actually thought to be roughly equivalent to Twitter’s 140-character limit.  Once you create Vines, you can quickly and easily share them with your followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook.

In the six months after its launch, Vine has already drawn in well over 13 million users. In addition to being entertaining, Vine is also a strategic way to promote your business!

Share Your Testimonials

If you have regular, happy customers, you can use Vine to show other potential clients how much your product or service is appreciated. Rather than asking your favorite customer to create a long, awkward YouTube video, simply request that they help you out by creating a short, 6 second Vine. Maybe they can hold up cue cards with short slogans, or even describe your business in a few short words for you!

 

Showcase Work Samples

Clients easily get bored looking through pages and page of websites, looking at different work samples and trying to choose the best one.  Don’t just have a boring portfolio of your work, like everyone else has. You want to stand out! Vine can help you do this. Create an animated work sample on Vine as a quick and efficient fix to advertising to a large audience.

 

Grab Your Customer’s Attention

Vine’s short videos can allow you to give your followers and current customers a sneak peek at what’s to come. It’s a great way to reward your current customers, as well as drawing in new ones. Making short Vine videos can also create suspense, so your followers will want to keep checking back in to see what’s new.

 

Interact with Your Customers

VineVine is a fun and interactive way to engage with your customers and potential customers. It’s an easy and quick way to talk to them, and quickly answer any questions they might have, in a fun way.

 

 Show Them Around

Vine is an innovative way to show your customers fun facts and behind-the-scenes peeks into your business’ inner operations. Unlike a long YouTube video, which might pressure you into having to give long explanations and drawn our tours, tour Vines can give you a quick way to show off key, interesting parts of your business. Maybe showcase a cool new product that you’ve been working on, or let your customers quickly meet some of your staff members.

 

Show Potential Results

Businesses such as construction companies, hairdressers, and designers might want to showcase their results of satisfied customers, to attract new customers. Using Vine will allow you to show potential customers before and after pictures of past projects, therefore letting them know that they’ll see good results.

 

Plan Events and Send Invitations

Short, suspense-building Vines can help you get the word out about any upcoming events you might be planning or hosting. It will help grab people’s interest, making your event more popular. You also might want to send out cute invitations by posting personalized Vines, or advertise the event’s promotions.

 

PR and Networking

Vine is an easy way to network with your community and your clients. By posting behind-the-scenes video, you are making your business more personable. By posting videos of your current products, you are showing your clients that you are keeping up with modern technology to showcase your products in the best light.

 

Reach Out and Bring Followers to Events

You can post Vines to easily attract people to your trade shows and conferences. Utilizing Vine’s hashtags to promote your conference or other event might also help spread the word.

 

Draw in Customers

VineVine is perfect for marketing to a local audience, and drawing customers that live close by, to check out your store, restaurant, or other business. Short tours, special promotions, and other videos will attract local customers, and draw in more business overall.

 

Vine can be an amazing business tool, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you start using it!

 

It’s a One-Shot Deal

Once you hit “Record,” you won’t be able to edit the video, so make sure that you think about what you want to post before you post it. Additionally, make sure that you know that you have to record with Vine—you can’t just upload a video that you already made. So make sure that you have a plan before you start!

 

Factor in Other Details

To have the best outcome with advertising your business through Vine, you’ll want to have a high-quality and clear video. So, make sure that you have the right lighting, and are holding your phone or webcam steadily. You can easily do this by planning out your location beforehand, and maybe placing your phone down on a steady surface to keep it from wobbling.

 

Decide About Sound

If you want a more professional video, you might decide that you don’t want any sound in the background. However, even if you don’t want sound, when you record a Vine there will be sound in the background. So, make sure that you find a very quiet location, and check for background noise before you begin filming! Conversely, if you do want sound in your video, to make it more high quality you might want to buy a specific microphone for your phone.

 

Using Vine on a Global Scale

Vine will help your business reach a global audience, and reach a wider variety of people. Vine is an innovative way to engage and interact with your audience. Vine’s short videos are fun and quick to watch, which draws and keeps customers’ attention.

Businesses are getting great results by using Vine, and their products and services are being promoted to large audiences. Vine is a free way to get your business out there, and draw in more clients.

Vine may seem intimidating if you’re not very familiar with social media. Here is a quick 5 step guide to using Vine:

 

1. Download the Vine app on your smart phone or tablet.

2. Sign up for Vine—it’s a quick process and you can create an account with either Twitter or your email. You can also connect your account to Facebook.

3. Look at the top right corner of the screen, and click the “People” icon to find other people to follow on Vine. (You can also do this by clicking the “Find People’ option under the “Friends” menu in your settings).

4. Click the camera icon to start recording your vines. Tapping your finger on the screen will start recording, and releasing it will stop recording.

5. When you’re done recording, click “Continue” to share your video on Vine and other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook!

You can promote your business by creating fun videos and messages for your clients. This will help you to engage with your followers and they are bound to reward you with positive comments and spread the word about your video making sure it gets lots of exposure.

 

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6 Simple Steps to Supercharge Your Conversions

December 5th, 2013

Is your business a little slow on sales? Or, are your sales going well, but you want to see an increase in conversions and more sales? There are simple steps that you can take to accomplish this. Here are some of those steps:

1. Show them your satisfied customers

Your potential customers are going to want to know that they will be satisfied with your products or services. Sure, they can take your word for it, but what better way to convince them than to show them testimonials from your previous customers? By displaying testimonials

2. Spread your excitement

If you’re excited about your business, let it show as you connect with your audience! You’ve worked hard to get where you are, so share that with your potential customers. If you show how excited and proud you are of your work, your audience will sense that, and become excited with you!

3. Explain and Focus

Make sure that customers understand the whole process of buying your product or service, and that they feel comfortable ordering. Explain why, and how, they should buy it. However, don’t make this a long and lengthy process. Try to focus on one specific benefit, so that the customer focuses in on that benefit as well.

4. Offer a money-back guarantee

Buyers want to know that if something happens and they end up not liking the product or service, that they can get their money back. Even if you are 100% confident that everyone will love your product and that this isn’t necessary, it’s still a good idea to offer a refund. This will give them the confidence to buy from you, because what do they have to lose?

5. Make it a limited time offer

People tend to ponder purchasing decisions before making them. Oftentimes, they’ll make a mental note to return and buy something later, but never do it. If you advertise that only a certain number of products are available, and that they’re only available for a limited time, customers are much more likely to feel that sense of urgency, and purchase the product.

6. Demonstrate with evidence

It’s easy to say that your product is great, or really works, but customers want to be shown that what you’re saying is true. If you promote your product with a video demonstration, customers will see that what you’re saying is true, and will be more likely to buy your product confidently.

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Top 3 Ways of Optimizing Images for the Web

July 9th, 2013

Top 3 ways of optimizing images for the webThousands of photos and images are uploaded onto the internet every day. Some of these grab millions of eyeballs, while others pass unnoticed. What causes this stark contrast? Not following standard techniques for optimizing your pictures for the Internet could mean that you will lose out on several visitors. Simple things like making sure your pictures are too large files for quick download and providing the right kind of information for Google indexing can make a huge difference when it comes to image SEO. We explore the top three techniques that almost anyone out there can use for optimizing images for the web. It’s quick, it’s easy, it‘s smart, and, most importantly, it can help draw hundreds more visitors to your beautiful photographs and pictures!

1.   A Good Title Is a Necessity

 The image you upload should always come with a catchy SEO keyword optimized title. Website visitors read this name when they hover their cursors over your image.

2.    A Great Caption is Everything 

As the person who posted the images, you don’t just want people to see them, but also to spend time on your website, reading over the content there. A caption can be the extra bit of information about where, what, and when a picture was taken that draws your visitors’ interest. Captions are text appearing under images, describing the picture and its dynamics.

3.    Alt Tags

Alt tags are actually picked up by search engines like Google. They use it to index pictures and web sites. These words will determine how high your post or image collection will rank on consumer searches. So, don’t leave that field blank when optimizing images for the web!

The longer a visitor stays on your website, the more likely he or she is to click around and visit other posts on the site. Try applying these simple tips today to optimize your images for the web!

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How to Get Traffic with YouTube

May 5th, 2013

Did you know there’s a website that gets over 1 billion visits a month? Talk about traffic!

That website is YouTube. Think of YouTube as your secret marketing weapon. Most businesses don’t know how to use it. Sure, they may put up videos, but how many views do those videos get? So, while YouTube may not be a secret, how to use YouTube for your business, generally is.

Sure, there are many companies that use YouTube to drive traffic to their sites, but these companies are spread across every niche imaginable, which means that there won’t be that much competition in any one niche.

Here are some tips on how to use YouTube to drive traffic?

 

1. Get set up on YouTube

You’ll need a Google account if you don’t already have one. It can be a Gmail account, a Google Adwords account, a Google+ account, or a Google Adsense account.

 

2. Check out the competition

Type in keywords relating to your product or service and see what videos come up on the right hand side. Check these videos out. You don’t have to watch every one, just check the number of views and how long it’s been since they were posted.

You can be pretty sure that those videos that have a large number of views and were posted less than two years ago are about subjects that people in your niche are interested in. Now you’ve got possible subjects and titles for your own videos.

 

3. It’s brainstorming time

Now it’s time to think up some new ways to approach the subjects that you got in step two. You might need to surf some blogs or social media sites to find out what elements of those subjects are getting the most attention at the present time.

 

4. Make your video

Target the subject that’s getting the most attention first and add videos later that address other niche subjects that are of interest later. You should always try to create videos that solve some problem that people in your niche have and always invite them to visit your site for further information.

 

5. Optimize your description with keywords

This is something that most people don’t do and will put way ahead of the competition. YouTube has a keyword suggestion tool that’s very helpful. Remember that search patterns are different on YouTube. It’s not like an ordinary search engine. So, use the suggestion tool and don’t just use the same keywords that you are using on your site.

That’s basically it. Providing that you video looks reasonably professional, and does solve a problem, you will attract views.

Video is rapidly becoming the dominant media on the Internet. Video Marketing will continue to grow and video is great because you can directly appeal to the emotions of potential customers in ways that the written word never can. With a little luck and some hard work, your video will go viral and then you’ve really got it made.

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Google Authorship – Why Is It Important?

April 1st, 2013

You may have heard of Google Authorship and wondering exactly what it is. Basically, the program works by attaching an actual author’s name to each post that’s published on a website, lending credibility and verifiability to the work.


Google Authorship works because Google uses a picture of the author of the article or blog post by using the rel=”author attribute. That picture comes from the author’s profile, and when a reader clicks on the image, their browser will link them back to the author’s profile.

Why Is Google Authorship So Important?

Occasionally when you complete a Google search, you’ll notice faces appearing next to certain results. This is especially true when the result is a blog post or article. Google achieves this by using Google Authorship with the link, and this is the search engine’s way of relaying to users whether or not the snippet is attached to quality content. The image of the author lends credibility to the article, and along with other features employed by Google, signals to searchers that a given link may be better to click on than say, one without an image beside it.

Google Authorship - Why Is It Important?


How to Implement Google Authorship

To implement Google Authorship, all you have to do is follow these steps:

1.       Make sure you have a Google+ profile and that you use a photo with a   “recognizable headshot” (Google’s words, not ours)

2.      You need to be sure to add the URL or the blog that you author in the “Contributor to” part of your profile. You accomplish this by clicking the profile button under the homepage button and then going over and  clicking on the navigation column on the homepage for Google +.

3.      Make sure a byline with your name appears on each page of the content (byline = “By Suzanne Watson”)

4.      Make sure the name on your byline is the same as the name on your Google+ profile

5.      Verify that you have an email address that the content was published on

6.      Go back to this page and enter your email address…and you’re done!

You can test this feature by clicking here. You may connect with me on Google plus by clicking here.

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Using Online Reputation Management to Protect Your Brand

January 28th, 2013

Because of the rise of social media and the importance of the internet for business uses, reputation management has become vitally important. Getting high rankings in search engines for your business helps protect you from negative reviews and bad press.

Online Reputation Management

Reputation Management helps companies eliminate or lower the harm created by negative Internet reviews that are showing high rankings on searches for their company, brand names or individuals connected with the business. Removing the offending pages is not always possible; however, the targeted use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing helps to lowers these pages in search engine rankings off the first page and onto the second or lower, where they will be “buried” and attract less attention.

Build a Website and Optimize it

Even if your company works primarily offline, it is vitally important to create your own website and then effectively optimize it. This means either hiring a designer to create you a fantastic website that is memorable and stands out from your competitors.

You need to optimize it by using SEO techniques like using appropriate keywords and using content relevant to what your company offers or sells. You should choose a domain name that matches your business name exactly or if that is already taken, a name that describes what you do; and it should be fairly short and memorable. A more advanced tip, own any related domain names as well; for example, any .com, .org or .net domain.

Promote yourself on Social Media

A business today must promote themselves via social networking sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest etc. if they wish to have a presence online. If you are able to create videos, then open a YouTube channel advertising yourself and providing information your customers want to know. For every social networking account, make sure you use your company name or your own name so your customers can find you easily.

Network with other Blog Owners

You can promote yourself on related blog websites, where you create your own account and post your knowledge on relevant topics. You can approach the blog owner and mention cross-promoting each other and linking back to the other’s website.

Press Releases and Articles

A great promotional tool is to write press releases and articles and submit them at popular websites like PR.com. You can also create an App or perhaps a Podcast if your customers not only buy services from you but look for information as well.

Reviews on Websites like Yelp and Google Local

Your company can benefit from receiving positive reviews from trusted websites like Google Local and Yelp, among others. Visitors and previous clients review your customer service and products, so other users can see their experience with you. The more positive reviews you have, the better your ratings and page views will be; leading to more sales.

These methods work to promote your business and will help to gain you higher search rankings on Google, Yahoo or Bing. The more positive an online reputation your company has, the more likely you will reside on the first pages of search engine results.

If you would like an audit of your online reputation, please contact me and I will provide you with a Reputation Management Report for your business.

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Put Your Business On The Map With Google+ Local

December 5th, 2012

The Internet is an ever-changing landscape.  Similar to the constant evolution of the web is the constant evolution of search engine giant, Google.

If you have been on Google Places recently, you should have noticed that it looks different than it used to.

Google has been implementing changes to catch up with its primary rival, Facebook.  Google has been integrating their key features into one platform.  Those key features include their search engine, business directories, maps and social network.  Google’s Vice President of engineering, Jen Fitzpatrick stated that, “With one listing, your business can now be found across Google search, maps, mobile and Google+, and your customers can easily recommend your business to their friends, or tell the world about it with a review”.

Right now, if your business has a Google Places page, you have nothing to worry about.  To make it easy on users, Google went ahead and integrated all of the current Google Places pages into their new Google+ Local pages.

There is now a new tab inside Google+ called Local.  It is located in the sidebar of Google+.  These pages can still be reached through maps or the search engine; the new tab makes it easier for users on Google+ to find the Google+ Local pages.  This is the new location of your business information.

How Google+ Local Works

The purpose of Google+ Local is to give users the ability to share and discover information regarding local businesses.  The new layout facilitates social sharing of this information.  They have also combined Google Places with Zagat review.

Put your business on Google + Local

Now that these changes have been made, you do need to check your account and make sure that it has been converted correctly.  Otherwise, you could lose business.

f your business is not listed at this time, you should take care of it sooner than later.  To reiterate the importance of listing your business, do a search in Google for businesses that are similar to your business.  You will see how much of your competition is already listed and taking your potential clients and/or customers.Google Local for Businesses

You need to set up your Google Plus Local profile and update it on a regular basis.  People will have the ability to write reviews about your business and they will also be able to recommend your business to the people within their social network at one quick click of a button.

Let’s take a tour of the changes now.

The New Google+ Local Tab

The new Local tab is so that users can look for specific categories or places.  It is on the left side in Google+.  Clicking on the tab will take the user to the Google+ Local page of a business or company.  Once on the page, the user will see contact information, location, pictures, plus reviews and Zagat scores.

 

What Are Zagat Scores?

Last year, Google purchased Zagat, a review company.  Zagat scores and summaries are both shown on all of the Google+ Local pages.  Zagat works by using a 30-point scale.  It displays the average score of the reviews given to a company.  Those scores are separated into categories.  The summary of the scores can be found at the top of the page.

On a Google+ Local page, you will see scores ranging from 0-3 by each review.  These are the score meanings:

0 is poor

1 is good

2 is very good

3 is excellent

Google+ Local provides you an excellent opportunity to advertise your business!  You can add your logo, pictures, testimonials and a business description to tell your potential clients and customers all about your business.

Increase Your Rankings With Google+ Local

Each time a users leaves your business a review, it gets higher rankings in the local search engine page results.  You need to get people writing and leaving your business positive reviews so you can gain even more visibility.

Nowadays, it is absolutely crucial to provide excellent customer service.  This is how you get people to leave your business positive reviews.  You must go above and beyond in all areas of your business.  Those positive reviews will put you in front of new customers.

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Drive Traffic To Your Site With YouTube

November 15th, 2012

Let’s face it: we could all use a few (thousand) more visitors to our websites, right? Well today I want to show you how to use YouTube videos to increase traffic to your website, effectively and affordably. So let’s get started.

Why YouTube Videos?

YouTube is very popular among a wide range of Internet users. It gets three billion daily views off its videos and is the 3rd most highly visited website online. Not only that, but it is considered only second to Google as a search engine.

How Do You Do It Right?

#1. Make Your Videos Engaging – They need to be professionally done, with plenty of good, detailed information that people are searching for.

#2. Make Them Searchable – You will want to put the right keywords in your titles, descriptions and tags to make sure that your target market can find them.

#3. Have A Strong And Clear Call To Action – People need to be told what to do next. Be sure to include your web address, what to do, and why to do it at the end of your video. Free giveaways are a great way to get people interested enough to visit your site.

For example, I might say: Want to learn to make a great website that works for you? Go to http://www.interdream-designs.com and click on “Free Stuff” to get my FREE e-Book: Step-by-Step Guide to a Successful Website now!

I hope that gets you started on your way to more traffic and leads!

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Make the Most of Facebook’s EdgeRank

October 10th, 2012

Facebook’s ranking system has enormous implications for the benefits social media can bring for your businesses. What exactly is behind all the excitement? An impressive little newsfeed algorithm known as EdgeRank.

What is EdgeRank?Facebook's Edge Rank Formula

EdgeRank is the system Facebook uses to determine what stories are most relevant and to whom, ensuring your updates get posted only to those pages and people who will really be interested. An ‘Edge’ is any interaction that happens on Facebook like comments, status updates, likes and shares.

EdgeRank is based on a pretty complex algorithm, but it’s premise is very straightforward: the more popular your post, the greater the number of interactions your fans have with it, and how recent your post is are the primary factors EdgeRank looks at when deciding how to rank your story.

EdgeRank’s Ranking is broken up into 3 segments:

Affinity

“Affinity” is just EdgeRank’s fancy way of saying “how connected you are to a page or person.” If you interact with one of your friends more often than others, your posts will show up on that friend’s page. If I post on your page from time to time, it’s likely your story will show up on my page as well. The more you interact with someone, the more likely it is that your posts will show up on their feeds.

Weight

Certain things you do on Facebook have a specific gravity. Or “relative weight,” to be more technical. To put it plainly, if you post something it has weight, if your friends or fans comment on it, it has more weight. There are other variables that affect an action’s weight, including how many Likes or comments it gets. Comments will generally lead to a higher weight than Likes alone will.

Time Decay

Time Decay simply refers to how new the item is. The newer the update, the better. If you recently posted something on Facebook, it’s more likely to show up on your friends’ feed…so timing is very important.

How EdgeRank Can Help You

From the above, we can see that Popularity times Relevance times Newness = How many fans will see your post.

Quite simply, EdgeRank ensures that you maintain a strong social connection with those pages and people who are more likely to be interested in what you or your business are doing. To take advantage of EdgeRank, you must remember that interaction is a key to success. Interact often with those pages and people you want to associate with. Promote interaction not just by posting offers, but by giving friends and fans reasons to interact with you through Likes, comments, and shares by giving them smart, well-written, and persuasive calls to action.

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Are You Making These Website Mistakes?

July 25th, 2012

Great news….somebody has visited your website.  Hurrah!  Perhaps they might buy your product or decide to use your services…but wait…oh NO!  They are leaving again. “What?” you cry, “They only stayed for 5 seconds”.

If your site is not converting visitors to sales, then you might be committing one of these deadly mistakes:

1.  Flash Driven Design

Search engines hate Flash driven design.  In fact they hate them so much that they will completely ignore your site no matter how pretty you think that it looks.

So what if it is clever and it contains beautiful state of the art design? Nobody is ever going to see it.  Google is just going to skip right past your site as if you are the invisible man.  And those millions of iPhone and iPad users who use their mobile devices instead of their desktops certainly won’t see it because they can’t see Flash on their phones.

It is pointless to annoy Google so much it chooses to ignore you.  It’s YOU that won’t get any visitors.  Just because you can add whistles and bells doesn’t mean that you should.

2. The Annoying “Welcome to our website”

How long do you think you have to grab your visitor’s attention?  Here’s a hint: It isn’t 2 minutes, 1 minute or even 30 seconds.  It is more like 10 seconds.  That is all the time you have, so don’t waste it with such a boring introduction.

Most people don’t like to read much on the online, so when they first visit your website they are probably just going to quickly scan it to see if anything catches their eye.  Why would you want to squander an already tiny attention span by reminding people which site they are visiting?  Instead, use an attention grabbing headline?

People should already know where they are just from glancing at the top of your site, where they should see your logo and a snappy tagline, or a short description of your site, so there is absolutely no need for stating the obvious with a banal “welcome to our website” message.  Yawn!

3.  “We…. We… We… We… We…zzzzzzzz”

“We have a team of….”

“We plan to….”

“We have been in business for…..”

Sorry to sound blunt but. . . NOBODY CARES!

Visitors to your website are only interested in one thing: What is in it for ME?”

If your site doesn’t answer this question pretty quickly they will leave.

Instead of just talking about you and your site or your business, imagine that you are talking one to one with one of your typical customers and ‘speak’ to them as an individual.  Tell them how your product or service is going to benefit them.

4. Tech Speak

Every industry and business sector has its own tech speak and industry only words that nobody else understands.

Try talking to friends and family about Autoresponders, SEO and long tail keywords and you’ll see their eyes glaze over as they slip into a coma.

If you use words, terms and phrases that mean something to you but go straight over your visitor’s heads, then you are going to lose them.  We’ve already said visitors are going to scan over much of the content on your website anyway, so it makes sense to make it as easy as possible for them to be able to pick out and understand the main points from the bits that they do read.

5.  No Clear Call to Action

As well as telling your visitors “what is in it for them”, your next job is to tell them what they need to do now.

It is absolutely pointless giving them great reasons why they should use your products and services, and then not tell them what they need to do next to get it.

You need to have a clear call to action AND make it blatantly obvious what you want them to do.

Do you want them to ring you up for a free quotation?  Then tell them!

However, telling them to ring you and then hiding your number somewhere on your website is another big fail.   If your call to action is telling them ‘RING US RIGHT NOW’, then make sure you put your telephone number right next to it.

Do you want them to click on the ‘Buy Now’ button?  Again, you have to tell them, and then show them clearly where that Buy button is.

And don’t try to cleverly disguise the button or link.  Make sure that it is bold and clear enough for them to see what they need to press.

Never assume that your visitors will know what to do next.  S-P-E-L-L   I-T   O-U-T  for them.  Tell them what you want them to do.  If you make it difficult for them, then they will leave.  Yes, they probably could figure it out….but they won’t!  They will move on to the next site in the blink of an eye.

You invest a lot of time and money encouraging people to visit your website.  So why scare them off by making one of these fatal mistakes.

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