Yahoo Search Marketing Tries Out Favicons

Favicons are the little icon that shows up in your browser next to the address bar. For example, if you look up at your address bar right now, you.ll probably see this:

That little B in the orange box is Blogger.s favicon. It.s showing up because we are using them to host this blog that you.re reading now. If you visit our website, http://www.pens.com/, you.ll see this as our favicon:

Favicons are an excellent way for brands to distinguish themselves and establish an identity of their own. Yahoo Search Marketing, earlier this month, started a test of showing an advertisers favicon in their Search Marketing ad. This is great because it will let customers know whether or not the site you are going to is the true owner of the brand or company you are looking for. For example, here is Nike.s ad: Notice the favicon of the famous Nike logo we all know. This way if I was looking to shop from the authentic Nike site, I could. The other listings that show up on a search for Nike are Zappos, Kohl.s, Finish Line, and a few others. They would each have their own favicon.

While Yahoo Search Marketing is just rolling this feature out to certain advertisers during its testing period, I think it.s a move in the right direction. This will help customers when they shop as they will be able to easily identify your brand. Establish your logo, your look, keep it consistent, and use it everywhere. This way, people will learn to recognize you just by your logo or favicon.

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I Want to Buy Something on Your Website, But I Need Help!

Most of the time when I shop online, I start browsing the site, looking at the products, and realize I have questions. I.m sure this has happened to you too and surely it will happen to your customers. What types of questions/concerns might your prospective customers have? Well, there are many, they can range from simple questions to more complex ones. For example: How do I know if this shirt size will fit me? What is the return policy? I have questions about the product, is there someone I can ask? Is there a guarantee?

Your prospective customers are bound to have questions when shopping, so you, as a business, should provide a customer experience that will answer all these questions. You want to make the prospect feel comfortable about buying from you. With that said, it is extremely important to have a help center or customer care section on your website.

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Mother.s Day Marketing

It.s Mother.s Day this weekend. It.s a holiday which means it is a perfect opportunity to promote your business. Utilizing holidays to promote your products and services is great because it will draw people to your business. It will help you boost sales over the weekend where sales might normally be soft.

People generally like to go out to eat on Mother.s Day, so offer a Mother.s Day special! Maybe it.s a discount, maybe it.s a special once-a-year dish. Since Mother.s Day is on Sunday, it might be quite crowded. Offer a discount for people to come eat on Friday, Saturday, or even Monday! People will likely visit because they don.t want to wait long.

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Free to Try . Engaging Your Customers

If you are confident about your products and services, prove it. Businesses who believe in their products will stand by it and are convinced that if you tried it, you would come back again. This shows off a company that is bold, willing to take chances, and believes in what they offer.

Earlier this week, two popular fast food restaurants offered their version of flame grilled chicken to anyone who asked for FREE. The keyword here is FREE, KFC and El Pollo Loco both believed their product was better and they were willing to sacrifice the cost of the product to have people try their food . fully believing that if you tried it, you would see how great it is, and come back for more. KFC offered one piece of chicken while El Pollo Loco offered two pieces including two tortillas.

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Credibility through Testimonials and Reviews

Before I purchase a product, I like to do a bit of research on the product and company I may be potentially buying from. I.m looking for quality, credibility, and reliability in the product and company. I want to hear the opinions of people who have purchased that product and purchased from a specific company. As with most shoppers, I would have the following questions:

. What did people like/dislike about the product?
. Did the product meet expectations in terms of performance, look and feel, etc.?
. Is the company credible and reliable?
. Do they provide all the information necessary for me to make a purchase?
. Do they ship their products at a reasonable speed?
. How is their customer service?
. Does the company believe in their product? Have people had success using their products?
. What do people like about this company?
. Would they do business again with this company?

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The Importance of Web Analytics

Often times, when I am browsing the internet or shopping for something online, I realize that a lot of these online businesses, especially the small, possibly mom & pop web stores, don.t have web analytics set up for their website. It doesn.t matter how big or small your website or web store is, web analytics are important! If you are developing and executing marketing campaigns, it is even more important!! Web analytics provides you with very valuable information. It gives you a plethora of information on your customers, your prospects, and more importantly, the results of a particular marketing effort. If you do not have analytics, it.s difficult to know what is working and what isn.t.

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Reinventing Your Brand for Search

One of my colleagues passed over a very interesting article on Search this morning. It basically said that businesses are beginning to become more and more aware of the importance and power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) these days. Because of that, they have been thinking of creative ways to step up their marketing and brand presence in search engine results pages (SERPs).

It gave two examples of how marketers were willing to reinvent their brand to take an advantage in having high visibility in the engines. The first example was the Sci-Fi channel. They had started to announce that they were eventually going to be evolving into the name Syfy. They realized the opportunity available to them in dominating search results with such a name. The second example is about a small Normandy town called Eu. The town feels like many tourists are missing out on visiting this great town which has reportedly had visits from historical figures like William the Conqueror, Richard the Lionheart, and Joan of Arc. They feel that they are getting a lack of toursists because prospective visitors cannot locate them in the SERPs due to the overpowering presence of EU (the European Union). The town plans to make changes to it.s town name to be more unique so that they can once again be found and bring back the visitors they so desire.

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Content is Still King

I am certain that many online businesses right now are thirsty for MORE.more visitors and more purchases, which translates into more money. Obviously, having more purchases will result in additional revenue, but how can anyone purchase your products if they have no idea what you sell, or worse, have never even heard of you before? The key is to draw in visitors, create Brand awareness, and show prospects what your business is all about.

How do you get more visitors?
The answer is simple, content. Not just any content, but relevant, useful content. No matter what industry you are in, content is still king. Having targeted, focused content is important for two reasons. The first reason is SEO, search engine spiders need to find your site. If your website is search engine friendly, then what your website needs is content. If your website is not search engine friendly, stay tuned for a future post on simple tips to help improve your site architecture. Content helps the spiders understand what your site is about and how it may be relevant to specific terms or phrases for its end users. The second reason is to offer a good experience for the prospect, to show your expertise in your industry, and to offer useful information for your prospects. If a prospect lands on your website and sees a whole library full of useful information, they will certainly believe that you know what you are talking about. After all, it is YOUR business and YOUR products, so share your expertise. By offering useful information, your prospects are more likely to remember who you are and if what you offer is relevant, they will probably take a deeper look into who you are and what you sell.

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Online Marketing Summit (OMS) Conference

Throughout the year, there are many different conferences, workshops, and seminars across the US focused on online marketing. These events are an excellent opportunity for marketers and anyone running a web business to network and learn more about the latest trends and strategies in the web space. Attending one of these events can be extremely beneficial for your business. Often times, the cost to attend a conference is quite pricey, especially for small businesses. However, the Online Marketing Summit (OMS) Conference put on by ClickZ should be quite affordable.

OMS will focus on Social Media, SEO, PPC, Website Usability, Web Analytics, Email Marketing, Content Management, Site Search, Budgeting/Planning, eCommerce, Integrated Marketing, and Behavioral Targeting. It is for anyone looking to hone their web marketing skills.

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Flash Websites are NOT Recommended for SEO

A few of my friends are wedding photographers and if there is anything I learned from them, it.s that they love having their website developed in flash because it gives it a nice look and feel for their clients and prospective clients. Their sites are simple, clean, and attractive. The problem is that they want to show up in the search engine and rank highly. The very first thing I tell them is that they need to get rid of the flash site! But they never want to do that because it loses its aesthetics when switching to an HTML site. The point here is not that you cannot have any flash on your website, it is that the entire website should not be flash. Having a slideshow with photographs in flash on the HTML website should be fine. However, I do believe that a clean, beautiful website can be created through HTML which would be beneficial for both the photographer, for the clients, and for the search engines.

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