Lets go into a bit of background first! We have helped hundreds of clients in the horse industry with their websites. Luckily for our clients, our background is in web technology, usability and site architecture as well as rich content development. We take each project and think of the user's perspective, what do they want to do on your site, what do they need to know and how do you get them that information quickly and efficiently. We build on that foundation of usability and tie stunning eye catching graphics and themes and build them into the framework of the website. The end product is not only pretty, but functional.
Check our our list of website effectiveness tips below. Let us know what worked for you and what hasn't and we would be glad to add your ideas to our blog.
1. Get a pretty website!
Websites are like horses, they call cost the same to feed, you might as well have a pretty horse, unless you have horses like our client, Sargent Equestrian Center, they are the big clydesdale boys and cost a lot to feed! But seriously, websites all cost basically the same every month whether they are pretty or not and even if they aren't effective, you are still paying for them, so I say, have a pretty and effect website!
Having a nice looking website really helps to sell your business and frame your content to deliver the message you want to portray to your visitors.
2. Keep your website information Current
We recommend updating your website at least once a month. Keeping your website updated tells your visitors the latest information about your business and lets new visitors know that you are serious about your business and take the time to keep it current. It also helps with the search engine rankings because Google and Yahoo look at that as part of their formula for ranking and rank those sites higher if they are updated more frequently. An easy way to do this it get a do it yourself website and make the updates yourself.
Our philosophy is...... just having a website up on the interent isn't enough to market your business! You have to work hard at marketing it. It won't be enough to just stick up a website and hope that users come to it. We suggest using other tools to market your website. For instance, Constant Contact is an excellent product which we customize templates for our clients.
This tool allows you to send out attractive HTML based e-newsletter blasts to a set of names on a email list and allows you to have multiple lists so you can manage various looks for your business marketing email campaigns with different content to reach a variety of customers.
It saves trees and is highly effective at bringing traffic into websites.
We also suggest using Facebook to reach your followers and share information, sales, new service offerings and even just listing the spring foals for sale. Facebook is one of the most powerful networking tools on the planet. If you don't already have a business Facebook account, contact us and we can help you get one set up as well as help you design your timeline graphics for the Facebook page. Check out our business Facebook page to see an example. Facebook is free and easy to use.
The word blog came from combining two words together, web and log = blog.
Generally blogs are written in journal style, like what I have been writing, they are sometimes personal and sometimes informational. If you have one of our new Weebly websites, they come with a blogging tool. You should take advantage of this powerful web tool. Your blog should not be a sales bulletin. Successful blogs capture the reader's attention, give information and provide helpful content to your industry. Blogs also provide ample wording for the search engines like Google and Yahoo to spider and index your content. Here are some tips on how to make your blog successful.
- Write about something that will be important for your viewers to know
- Keep people up to date of new information about your business - be careful not to sell, sell, sell on your blog or readers will lose interest
- Don't make them overly wordy or repeat words and keep them fairly short
- Review the blog yourself before you post it - ask a friend if it sounds ok before publishing it
- Save often while writing your blog, my internet connection was lost during writing this and thank
Equine Legal Solutions
I promised to share with you some of our client's websites that have been effective.
First we have Equine Legal Solutions, which is owned by Rachel Kosmal McCart, an established equine attorney based out of Beavercreek, Oregon. She has been a longtime client since 2003. Her website is www.equinelegalsolutions.com. Rachel is very diligent in updating her website and writes informative equine legal articles each month that deliver new information to her viewers. She sends out email newsletter blasts to point readers to the new articles that she posts, which directs the traffic back to her website. She also uses contests and surveys to direct traffic to her website and of course uses Facebook to post informative tips and information. Her blog provides detailed information about the newest equine legal issues facing her industry. Her clients keep coming back to her website to learn something. It isn't just a contract sales website, it is a central clearing house of information about the equine industry and legal issues which it often faces.
Ful O Pep is a feed company in Texas who's website is www.fulopep.com. They work incredibly hard at keeping their website current. They create new and interesting ad campaigns for their feed lines and feature sales and dealers on their website. They also make use of e-newsletters and send out various emails a couple times a month to the various lists they carry for their ad campaigns. They also advertise heavily in traditional print marketing such as magazines and regional and statewide horse, cattle and sheep magazines to promote their two retail stores and feed lines. By using the combination of Facebook, e-newsletters and traditional print advertising, they have become very effective in their market. We would like to congratulate them on 30 years in the business!