Big Wheels Keep On Turning

I run across a lot of Florida industrial, manufacturer, and distributor websites that have the “set it and forget it” user experience going on. You know… maybe the website was created years ago, product specs are available in PDF format, and a basic contact page link, maybe you’ve paid good money for the thing – so that should do it, Voila! Not so fast. These days, unless you can get prospects to print your website, place it on their desks, AND hand it out to others (please?) a static product website isn’t going to set you apart from your competitors. You need an eCommerce Catalog website.

Big Wheels keep on turning…!

A dynamic online presence is crucial these days for manufacturers and distributors to stay competitive, attract recurring customers, and keep on turning profits. Your eCommerce catalog website combined with direct mail catalogs can be very effective tools for your 2014 toolbox.

Florida Manufacturers eCommerce Catalog Websites

“But I don’t want to sell online or show my pricing.”

The primary reason for any business to have a website is to create sales and leads. Online product catalogs display detailed information and photos about your great products, thus helping generate more sales orders in an organized, user-friendly manner. No need to have an “Add-to-cart” button, you can display a “Request Quote” or “More Information” button as your “call to action” instead. And here’s an extra bonus: Your website will be much more user-friendly since it’s organized into categories, is searchable, and contains text easily indexed by Google and the “other” search engines.

Gain effortless social sharing and meaningful email marketing

With an eCommerce catalog website, you can easily display social sharing and follow buttons for each and every product page. Using your email marketing (are you doing email marketing?) you can share direct links to specific products to your leads and distributors lists. Add an Email Sign-up form to your website, maybe a Chat Module, and now you have a truly dynamic online hub to start engaging visitors. Great for your sales staff – great for your distributors – and awesome for your bottom line.

5 quick advantages of a catalog website:

  • Makes better stats reports and analytics possible on a per product basis because each product page is an attractive, informative landing page
  • Creates an always fresh, searchable, consistent view of your products – updateable by you
  • Allows for easier product comparisons and highlights popular products
  • Promotes relationship and lead building
  • Improves and personalizes customer experience and distributor engagement

Gift Your Business for the New Year! If you’re a Florida small manufacturer or distributor ready to get started on finding out more about converting your static website to a dynamic online catalog, OR want to sell products online, then my eCommerce web design special may be the perfect solution for you.

Thanks for reading and sharing. I appreciate it very much,

Stacy Layman, Director
eCommerce Development and Creative Services
Bright Green Path Web Solutions

Google Plus Authorship integration for WordPress

Good news for WordPress users! Google Plus Authorship integration will be even easier for WordPress users soon. According to the Google+ Developer’s Blog:

“Starting today we’re integrating Google+ Sign-In with Google’s Authorship program. So if you sign in to WordPress.com with Google, for instance, the articles you publish will now be associated with your Google+ profile automatically.” http://googleplusplatform.blogspot.com/2013/09/google-attribution-and-embedded-posts.html

For example, today users may see your name, picture and/or a link to your Google+ profile when your content appears in Search, News and other Google products.

Google+: author attribution & embedded posts

Thinking about WordPress CMS website for your small business? Checkout my Fall WordPress CMS package with SEO special happening now.

WordPress 3.6 Launched, Say Hello to Oscar

New WordPress Twenty Thirteen Launching

Say “Hello!” to Oscar, the latest and greatest WordPress, version 3.6 has launched.

New User Features

New Features of WordPress 3.6 - Oscar

  • The new Twenty Thirteen theme inspired by modern art puts focus on your content with a colorful, single-column design made for media-rich blogging.
  • Revamped Revisions save every change and the new interface allows you to scroll easily through changes to see line-by-line who changed what and when.
  • Post Locking and Augmented Autosave will especially be a boon to sites where more than a single author is working on a post. Each author now has their own autosave stream, which stores things locally as well as on the server (so much harder to lose something) and there’s an interface for taking over editing of a post, as demonstrated beautifully by our bearded buddies in the video above.
  • Built-in HTML5 media player for native audio and video embeds with no reliance on external services.
  • The Menu Editor is now much easier to understand and use.

Be sure to BACKUP and UPGRADE to take advantage of all the new features. I simply love the new look and possibilities of the new Twenty Thirteen WordPress theme!

View video on Matt Mullenweg’s article on WordPress News

Checkout all the new features of WordPress 3.6 at the Codex.

Thinking about a WordPress Website?

Take a look at my WordPress “Get Me Started” special package and take control of your website.

Ways to Stay Creative this Summer in Florida

Going to the Beach

Summer in Florida! Don’t you love it?

The heat, humidity, bugs you’ve never seen before, bigger bugs, bugs forming communities on your front door, mosquitos the size of Mack trucks, record hurricane threats – the smell of Skin-So-Soft and Coconuts wafting through the air!

As a Florida native, and after spending most of my life here, I’m still not used to the “heat index” of Summer – it’s always shocking at how much heat and humidity Floridians can endure.

So, we should just sit behind our computers in air-conditioned rooms, right? I’ve got the coffee covered – and we all love the rain and watching the incredible lightning shows. Tempting to stay put but… here’s 29 healthier ways to enjoy this Florida Summer while getting your creative juices flowing. What would you add to this list?

29 Ways to Stay Creative this Summer

Get Away From The Computer – NOTE TO SELF!

29 Ways to Stay Creative this Summer in Florida

Celebrating Colors from the Psychedelic 60′s to Today

Does your website pop? One of the easiest ways to make any website design look fresh and up-to-date is to make sure  its color scheme instinctively influences the visitor’s first impression!

Color Styles and Moods from the Ages

Here’s a great infographic from Pantone that takes us through a fun journey of color trends – from the psychedelic 60′s to today – that can help give you some ideas for your website’s graphic design color palette.

Celebrating 50 Years of Colors

Read full article: http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone.aspx?pg=21111&ca=90

The Future of the Web. HTML5 and CSS3

How HTML5 and CSS3 is bringing better interactivity and multimedia to Web sites without the use of plug-ins. Great article by Michel Velis in West Palm Beach!

 

 

Amazing How Quickly The Internet Has Changed Our Lives!

Great classic video with our fellow Florida gal Katie Couric and the Today Show gang back in 1994.

Katie – “the internet… is becoming quite big now”.

Bryant Gumble: “what do you do, write to it like mail??

Who else remembers those days of doing research using “books” and “card catalogs” ? Simply amazing just how young the Internet is.

via Amazing How Quickly The Internet Has Changed Our Lives!.

New WordPress 3.6 Launching April 29th

Full-width Website Fans Take Notice!

For “full-width” website fans (like me) who are looking for creative and flexible combinations of post format colors, the new WordPress Twenty-Thirteen theme is a big improvement. Scheduled to ship with the upcoming WordPress 3.6 release on April 29th, WordPress 3.6 presents a focus on blogging, great support for post formats, and is device responsive.

New WordPress Twenty Thirteen Launching

New WordPress Twenty Thirteen Launching – View Demo

Mark Jaquith introduced the new theme on make.wordpress.org and writes:

“What you’ll notice first is the colors. Way more use of color than a bundled WordPress theme has had before. Each post format has its own color, so each is distinct, yet they are all complimentary. The bold colors encourage authors to try out all the different formats. This color extends the full width of the window, which breaks your blog up into a lush, segmented timeline. This effect is even more pronounced on mobile browsers, where the screen can be dominated by one or two posts at a time, in all of their chromatic fullness.

“On closer inspection, you’ll notice details, like the font-based icons (“Genericons”, by @joen ) that scale up to any resolution or zoom level and can be easily recolored using CSS.

“Twenty Thirteen really prefers a single column layout. Widgets live best in the footer, where jQuery Masonry bricks them together (but it supports a sidebar, if you really insist). Header images have a fixed width and height, and will be cropped at smaller resolutions, so the best choice is an artistic header where not 100% needs to be shown all the time (it ships with three).”

WordPress Just Keeps Getting Better

Every single update makes the software better. Twenty Thirteen is only available for use with version 3.6. If you want to use the new Theme on your site, you will need to upgrade.

Facebook Can’t be the “End All, Be All” of a Marketing Plan

Puppies! Kittens! Babies! FOOD!! ♥☺

We all know that Facebook is fun, and a great tool, but should you use it exclusively for your business website? In most cases, businesses that use a Facebook page as their primary online presence are potentially setting themselves up for disillusionment – or worse.

Think about this:  With a website or a blog you own the domain and content, you have creative control – after all, it’s your companies’ online hub. Your social media channels can compliment your website by engaging prospects and driving traffic to your websites’ home base.

Here’s some points to think about if your business is using Facebook exclusively:

  • Not everyone uses social media. With a properly optimized business website all prospects can find you, whether they use social media or not.
  • Competitors’ advertising – this is a BIGGIE:  As you might have noticed, Facebook has more and more advertising. Those ads compete with your own short-lived posts and messages for your visitors’ attention.  Your website will always compete with other websites for visitors, but on Facebook you’re competing within the same space.

    We are a great company!

  • You’re relying on a third-party – you don’t own your page. With all Facebook’s changes in recent years, many businesses have either lost content and/or formatting, or have had to start all over. If Facebook goes down or deactivates your page, you would have no web presence at all. When you create content and information on your own website you maintain reliable, creative control. No hand slapping!
  • Limits creativity. With your own website you can create a great user experience that you completely control. You can add a blog, develop an email list, engage visitors, and start building your customer base. Facebook pages are limited to promoting your website and building visitors and brand awareness.
  • It takes a LOT of time with few rewards. Setting up a Facebook page does not mean people will automatically follow you, and when they do, are they really quality leads? Maintaining an engaging Facebook page takes time, resources, and energy. Only 30% of your posts are appear in the newsfeed of the people who like your Facebook page. In order to get more views, you have to use Facebook’s “boosted posts”.

Likes, Pins, and Tweets – oh my?

According to a consumer online buying behavior study from Incyte Group/Get Satisfaction:

“… real value for your brand doesn’t come through Likes, Pins or Tweets. It comes down to engaging customers to create lasting relationships built on relevant information, which can only be accomplished via a branded customer community on a company website. When customers look to part with their hard earned cash, they want to do so with brands they know and trust, not companies that repeatedly spam them on Facebook or Twitter.”

The study found that:

  • In spite of $3 million+ spent by U.S. marketers on Facebook pages, consumers still prefer company websites, visit company websites more than company brand pages, and would prefer to learn about companies from friends, not ads.
  • 70% of visitors to social networking sites are there for social reasons. Only 12% go to interact with brands.
  • Consumers nearing the end of their buying cycle – those looking for info to make a buying decision – overwhelming look to brand websites. (89% vs. 21% who choose social networks.) Similar findings were reported for consumers in earlier phases of their buying process.

    Your website's designated social driver

Who’s Your Designated Driver?

A company’s website is the preferred place to research products and find information that leads to purchasing decisions. If you don’t have a website for your business, think hard about contacting a professional web designer and get one going soon.

DO use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to perk interest, gain followers, and drive extra traffic to your company website.  It’s a much better long term strategy and will help you grow your business.

It’s my birthday – back to the land of the living!

It’s my birthday Sunday. I’m sitting here playing around in social-media-land, gearing up to “keeping away from the computer” for the weekend and plan to simply shine my face to the sun.

So in preparation for a smoothe landing, I looked up my Aries horoscope and ran across the excerpt below… so I’m “pacing” myself now.

  • Could that be a silly mistake?
  • And is it plain to see?
  • Should I use my weapons?
  • Is anything dangling by a mere thread??

 

Ahhhhhh!!! {unexpected outburst}

it's my birthday

The Week Ahead for Aries:

Wow! 

Hallelujah! The sun exits the twelfth house bringing you into the land of the living, or more truly, into the light. What might well have been shrouded in mystery could be plain to see, and you will no longer be consumed by doubts. You are beginning to get back your power and your determination, although whether you should use your weapons just yet is debatable.

On Friday Mars hooks up to unpredictable Uranus increasing the potential for silly mistakes and unexpected outbursts. While this could prove to be an exciting and rewarding week, if anything is dangling by a mere thread it may not last much longer. Therefore, pace yourself and don’t light the touch-paper. – astrolutely.com

I’m just going to go sit in the sun and read my book.

Happy Birthday to all my March peeps… may the Sun shine on your face :D

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