Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What's in a Domain Name?

How to choose the best domain name for your business.Creating a domain name for your new website is extremely important as it serves a first impression for your online visitors. It defines your online presence. It can be the key to your online successes. It's how you're ultimately found. Make sure when choosing a domain name you're following these best practices.

Unique & Memorable
You want your domain to be well-branded with your business, but it's equally important for your domain to be memorable; either something that is exact to your business name or a variation that stands out and makes a statement for your business.

Keep it Short
Also, consider the length. If we're in a hurry and are typing quickly, it's extremely easy to make mistakes in entering a lengthy domain name. As a general rule of thumb, keep your domain name under 20 characters.

Consistency Counts
Be sure to use brand elements from your domain across all of your inbound marketing channels. If your company is active on social media, then make sure your social media handles match your domain name. If you have an e-newsletter, then incorporate your domain name in the branding. The same goes for an online blog. Providing this consistence will create a stronger brand identity for your business online.

Your domain will also provide SEO benefits. One tip to help improve your search rank is to ix-nay dashes (-) from your domain name. While it may be easier to read, dashes within a domain name can and often indicate spammy behavior to the search engines.

We'd love to hear what domain names have made a resonating impact on you! We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences below in a comment. If you need assistance re-directing your domain name, making a good selection, or are seeking web development assistance, contact the CC Communications team.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

5 Things Your Website Must Have to Convert Visitors Into Customers

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When a potential client takes the step to explore your product or service options, your website will typically serve as the first line of defense. Getting customers to your website requires an effective inbound marketing strategy, but once you have them on your site, then what? Do you have the right elements in place to help convert them from a causal browser to a customer? Here are the top five things you should have in place to help bring in more customers from your website.

Tell Them Who You Are
Visitors like to know about who they'll be engaging for services. This is your chance to shine. Tell the word about the services you provide and what makes your business unique. Is your business complex? Write your copy in a way that anyone can understand. Also avoid marketing speak. Your message needs to be as natural as possible to convey a sense of authenticity. And while it's not imperative, you should consider adding a photo that shows off a bit of your company culture. Images of people can help instill a sense of trust, something you miss out on when you skip this pic.

Testimonials or Portfolios
To write engaging copy is only half of the battle. Having the opportunity to show your visitors and clients the products and services you provide is priceless. Be mindful to straddle the line and not come across as boastful or 'showy'. Illuminate your strengths and show visitors examples of how you can serve their needs.

Social Media Icons
How you present yourself on social media is becoming more and more important. Allow your site visitors to remain engaged with your company by displaying social media icons which link to your social media channels. If a particular social media channel is not properly maintained, opt to leave that platform off of your website. An unattended social media account could indicate to followers that your business is no longer in operation.

Call to Action 
We know that it's imperative to have a contact page for interested visitors to further contact you. Equally as important is a strong call to action, or an interactive way for a visitor to continue connecting with you. A call to action could be to follow one of your social media channels, subscribe to your blog - or even better, fill out request for a new business quote! It's important not to bury this call to action below the scroll line - make it clearly visible on the page, and use color to draw attention.

Added Value 
There's no better way to position yourself as an expert than to offer your visitors an added bonus for coming to your website. Said benefit can be entry to an exclusive email list or an informative white paper - Something that markets you but more, offers your visitors an unexpected extra.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Do's and Don'ts of Hashtag Use on Social Media


The do's and don'ts when using a hashtag
The hashtag started off as an obscure way to search for content on Reddit and Twitter, and over time has become a social phenomenon, appearing on all social media networks, offline in other forms of media, and even spoofed on late night comedy shows. At this point you can't watch a show on television without seeing a hashtag in the corner the screen, prompting you to begin your two-screen experience.

For those who are still unclear on how to harness the power of the hashtag, it's a simple matter of inserting the pound symbol (#) directly in front of a keyword, which then helps organize and track conversations surrounding that particular keyword. Used correctly, hashtags can help you stay informed, engage in conversations where you can add valuable insight, and effectively promote yourself or your business. Used incorrectly, you can annoy your social media contacts, proving to be detrimental to your social media efforts.

Never fear, though - Hashtags are quite easy to implement and use! Stick with the CC Communications' list of do's and don'ts and you'll be incorporating one of social media's newest phenomenas like a champ.


* Use a hashtag surrounding a current news topic, trend, or create one specific for your brand, a la #JustDoIt

* Use hashtags sparingly. Not every update on social media should have a hashtag so limit the number you use. We suggest no more than 2 hashtags per update.

* Use hashtags to facilitate an online conversation like a Twitter chat.


* #Do #Not #Hashtag #Each #Word - Not only is it obnoxious and forced, it serves no purpose and is considered a spammy practice.

* Don't over-complicate your hashtag. Stringing an entire sentence like #ILoveToUseHashTagsALot is not a good method. Be obvious with your intended keyword and keep it simple.

It's also important to note that you cannot exclusively claim or own a hash tag, and it can be viewed in a public forum. With that being said, be very careful about what hashtag you select to begin promoting or utilizing. There have been dozens of stories of hashtag snafus, like this one. Do your research and ensure that a hashtag is 'safe'.

So what's your verdict? Are you a hashtag lover or a hater? Any valuable tips you'd like to share?