Keep Your Website Up To Speed

Your website must download as fast as your competition. Typical shoppers expect websites to download in 2 seconds. That's down from 4 seconds in 2007. Research from a leading search engine reveals that a delay of 2 seconds results in a:

• 1.8% reduction in queries

•3.75% drop in clicks

• 4.3% loss in revenue per visitor

Slow load times have a significant harmful effect on sales revenues.

Landing Page Essentials

When prospects click on an email, banner ad or other teaser copy, take them to a landing page.

It elaborates on the teaser's promises and adds incentive to continue to your site. A good landing page:

• Graphically resembles the banner ad or item clicked. Same fonts, color, and logos. The key is consistency across all platforms.

• Captures the prospect's contact information.

• Has your organization's email, phone, address, and other ways to contact you.

The landing page is a vital connection between your ads and your website. It's the pathway to better web performance.

TWEET: Mobile food trucks coming to you?

Where are you?” a follower tweets to the cupcake fan page.

A responsive mobile cupcake truck posts on Twitter and Facebook, pinpointing their current Chicago Loop location along with a “10 more minutes” message. That means this sweet treat will be mine! … As long as they haven’t sold out or have yet to drive to the next location.

Chicago customers are starting to embrace the food truck movement: a novelty in Chicago. In cities like Los Angeles, New York and Austin, mobile food trucks continue to thrive and serve tacos, sandwiches or desserts.

Combined with social media updates available on a desktop or smartphone, food trucks create buzz and urgency to get these tasty items while supplies last. Customers like the spontaneity, curbside convenience and affordable bites. It’s a positive for the business also to expand their audience and create more jobs.

Navigating the mobile food business has been challenging for many entrepreneurs. Currently the tight Chicago laws allow only pre-cooked and packaged food that was prepared in a licensed kitchen to be sold on a food truck. This is unlike other cities where food must be prepared on board the mobile food facility only.

A food truck ordinance was proposed to the City Council late July, so hopefully by mid-late Fall, more food trucks will be on the road. Many consider Chicago a culinary destination and even big-name chefs are supporting the mobile food truck trend. For foodies and those who like cheap eats, let’s hope there’s even more food trucks coming to a street near you. And while you’re in Chicago, may your toughest decision around lunch be: which food truck do I purchase food from today?

"Listening" For New Customer Prospects on Social Media

Good and bad user comments on your company's Facebook Wall have word -of-mouth credibility. Twitter hashtags (#) can spread news and lies faster than any press release you deploy. But marketers who "listen" to social media can turn criticism into customers.

Social media doesn't prevent marketers from controlling their message, but it does require marketers to pay attention. Reply to wall comments and show a willingness to engage your customers in a positive way. Set up your own hashtags on Twitter to actively entice comments, and then address those comments directly. These are highly reliable portals for customer relationship management (CRM), if you use them the right way.

There are many simple techniques for "listening" to what's being said about your company and your brand. These are also excellent ways to find new customer prospects, and help prevent current customers from leaving you.

TWO TIP: Like Facebook's Like Button to Attract Customers

Social sharing is a very effective way to increase the visibility of your marketing campaign, and Facebook leads the way with a simple tool for integrating websites with social media: the "Like" button. This easy-to-install plug-in seamlessly attracts Facebook users to your website.

Put the "Like" button on your home page and product pages of your website. When "Like" is clicked, news of this is added to the Facebook user's public activity stream and all the user's friends will see this favorable action.

The friends can click on this action and go directly to your web page. They, in turn, can repeat the process so their friends can refer even more new visitors to you.

This simple action is an excellent way to prompt a viral marketing effect.