Tag Archives: Google Maps

Softwate Update

10 Essentials for every Business Website

Here at WebEden we often get asked to have a look at customer websites and give our feedback on how they’re looking. We usually make comments on images, menus, fonts and layouts.

But often we find that business websites are lacking some of the essentials that every single one needs.

There are some basic questions that every business owner needs to ask themselves when putting their website together. These are questions like:

Why do I need a website?
What information do visitors need to know?
What will website visitors look for?
How can my website make a good impression, and make it easy for people to buy from me?

Here’s our checklist of essentials that we reckon every business website should include.

1. Contact details
The most important essential, but so often overlooked. Website visitors will often try to find your website so they can find your phone number or your physical address.

At a minimum you need address, phone number and email address. Make these details easy to find – think about making the ‘contact us’ page one of the most obvious. Put your phone number big and bold on every page – top right hand corner is most common.

2. Map
Having a map of where you are:
*adds a reassurance to your website visitors that you actually exist.
*makes it easy for them to find you.

Here’s a tutorial on how to add a Google map to your website.

3. A ‘contact us’ lead capture form
Many website visitors want to know more about your products and services, but won’t feel like giving you a call. This might be because it’s out of hours, they’re busy doing something else, or they don’t want direct contact. This means that you need a lead capture form.

Having a lead capture form also allows you to give them more information when it’s convenient for you,

4. Photos of you
This is great way to add reassurance about who your website visitors are dealing with. Having a photo jump-starts a personal relationship between you and your website visitors, and boosts the likelihood that the visitor will want to get in touch.

5. Newsletter Sign up
Many website visitors are in a ‘research’ phase of the buying cycle. They’re not ready to phone you or start buying just yet, but still want more information.

A newsletter allows you to start warming up your relationship before they’re ready to buy. Website visitors get the chance to ‘taste’ your service before they actually commit to buying.

As a consequence, a weekly or monthly newsletter can be the biggest source of new leads for your website.

6. Blog
A blog is a half way house between your website and a newsletter. It lets you add personality to your website, and starts an open conversation with your visitors. You can use it to showcase your knowledge & products.

Another real advantage of a blog is that it lets you add fresh content to your website, something that Google really likes to see.  This can help boost you up the search engine results pages for searches that are relevant to you. For further advice with SEO read our Search Engine Optimisation Guide.

7. Customer reviews and testimonials
One of the most convincing ways to sell your products is by having other customers recommend them. As we’ve mentioned in our Social Media Strategy posts, good customer reviews are an important way to boost sales.

I know that you’re hardly likely to publish reviews and testimonials that show you in a poor light. But if you can get some genuine comments from a real people, and they don’t mind you publishing their contact details, then those comments go a long way to reassure others that it’s a good idea to buy from you.

8. Email to a friend
One of the very first ‘social media’ applications, ’email to a friend’ is now often overlooked

The best way to convince someone to buy from you is by having someone else recommend your products. An ‘email to a friend’ links on your website does just this.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to add the ’email to a friend’ application.

9. Social book marking buttons
A more modern social media service, bookmarking buttons often run on the bottom or side of web pages accompanied with a message like ‘share this’, or ‘add this’.

Social bookmarks are public web pages where you list all the links to all your favourite websites. They are a way of saying ‘I like these websites’ to anyone who is interested. They are a great way for customers to endorse you. Popular social book marking services are called Digg, Stumbleupon, Delicious, and Furl.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to add social bookmarking buttons.

10. Twitter & Twitter feed
Twitter lets you have a public conversation with your customers or website visitors. It helps to add a human element to your website, and gives your website personality. Here’s a video tutorial on how to integrate your WebEden website with Facebook and Twitter.

Summary
Whilst is important to be concerned with design, colours, fonts, menus and layout, when building a website make sure you include these 10 essentials too.

Anything else you think is a ‘essential’ for your website? Leave us a comment below.

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How to

How to find out who is looking at your Google Local Business Listing

A few weeks ago we blogged about how to put your business on the map with a Google Local Business listing. This is a great way to make sure that you appear when people search for your sort of business or service in Google local or Google Maps.

Google has just enhanced the local business listings so that you can now get great statistics about how many people view your listing, and how they found it.

To recap, once you’ve signed up to Google local business listings, this is what your listing looks like:

People can find these listings by doing a search on Google.co.uk or in Google Maps. Once they find your listing they can click on it to see your details, reach customer reviews, and get discount coupons . They can also get directions to your location.

All good so far.

But what would be really useful for you is to know how the people looking at your listing found it. Did they search for ‘taxi in edinburgh’ or ‘i want to go to the airport’ to find your taxi company listing? And if you do some advertising in the local paper, do you find more people searching for and finding your listing?

If you knew the answer to these and other similar questions, you’d be able to make better decisions about how to send more traffic to your listing, and what sort of information to include on it. And that, ultimately will lead to more customers.

Well now you can do just that thanks to a new feature that Google have launched in the local business center. They’re calling it a ‘dashboard’.

All you need to do is claim your listing and go through the verification process.

This is the kind of information that the dashboard will give you:

•    Impressions: The number of times your business listing appeared in the SERPs on  Google.co.uk or Google Maps search in a given period.
•    Actions: The number of times people interacted with the listing; for example, the number of times they clicked through to the business’ website or requested driving directions to the business.
•    Top search queries: Which queries led customers to the business listing. Was it ‘taxi in edinburgh’ or ‘fastest way to the airport’?

You also get access to a load of lists, maps and graphs which displays your data. Here’s what it looks like:

All the stats will get updated every day.

Those of you who are familiar with Google Analytics will recognise these graphs – they’re very similar. If you don’t know about Google Analytics, its a free tool from Google that lets you see exactly where your website visitors are coming from them and what they’re looking at on your website. Here’s a video tutorial on how to set up Google analytics for your WebEden website.

To find out more about accessing using the dashboard, take a look at the video below and then visit Google’s Lat Long Blog for a more in-depth overview.

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Google Products

Google Map widget error!

Google map error

As some of you will be aware the Google Map widget on your sites have come up with a zoom error.

This is due to Google changing it’s API (and failing to let everyone know) recently and throwing our maps into disarray.

Our tech guys are onto the issue and will update you soon with any info on when they are likely to be back on-line.

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Archive

Google Street View boosts traffic to Google Maps

Last month saw the controversial launch of Google Street View. But whatever your view of the privacy issue, there’s no doubt it has been a source of increased interest in Google maps. Since the launch on the 19th March, traffic has gone up by a whopping 41%, making Google maps the 20th most visited site in the UK.

The amount of time people spent on the Google maps also went up. ‘Time on site’ is a good measure of whether or not people like what they find on a website, and want to engage with it. Average ‘time on site’ for an informational site like Google maps is usually around 2 to 3 minutes. Following the launch, average ‘time on site’ jumped from an already strong 5 min 28 secs to 7 min 6 secs.

All data is thanks to Hitwise UK.

Here’s a graph showing the increase in traffic:


So for Google, was it really worth all the negative publicity? I think the numbers speak for themselves. But what do you think?

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Video Tutorials

Website Builder tutorials – adding Google Maps to your Webeden website

We first let you know back in December that Google Maps was fully integrated with Webeden. Since then, lots of you website makers have got in touch to say that you love this feature! Having a map on your website is really important – people like to know where you are as it makes you more real. For those of you yet to find out how to do so, here’s a short video showing you how.

Let us know how you get on!

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Google Products Softwate Update

Google Maps now integrated with Webeden

We thought we’d let you know about a couple of exciting developments that we’ve just made to our Sitemaker platform. The first is one that lots of you have been asking for so we’re really pleased to be able to get it out the door.

The news is: we’ve just added Google Maps to the Webeden.co.uk website builder. This means that you can easily add a Google Map to your website, and make it easy for your website visitors to find your physical location.

Maps are one of the Internet’s ‘pillar’ applications – its often the favoured way for people to get location based information. Up to now, when you’ve wanted to show your location, we’ve made you link to an outside map website. Now you can add Google maps directly into the pages of your webeden.co.uk website. There’s no need to send your visitors off to an external resource.

Apart from having a map, you can also add a location beacon that shows your exact location. And website visitors can manipulate the map by either zooming or dragging it around, to help them work out where they are.

Have a go – log into your control panel, its in the functional folder and is called ‘Google Maps’. Once you’ve done so we’d love to see the result, so post a comment below to let us know what you think.

6.4.09 Update: We’ve now produced a video tutorial to show you how to add a Google Map to your website.

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