In his excellent guide to surviving recession, marketing expert Chuck McKay cites “Accelerating Advertising and PR” as one of the 7 essential tips.

Think of your Advertising and PR campaign as a Jumbo Jet. A Jumbo requires 290,000 pounds of thrust to get off the ground, but just 100,000 pounds of thrust to stay there. If you reduce thrust and land, you need to spend and do much more to get back to altitude.

Do not interrupt your advertising during tough economic times.

As Chuck says in his blog; “Study after study has delivered the same results: companies who pull in their resources to ride out the economic uncertainties fall way behind when things get better.

Those same studies show that companies who aggressively pursue revenue in good times and bad leapfrog over their competitors in the following years.

This may take a certain amount of faith, because the evidence that your plan is working won’t be available for months. If you’re getting a bigger share of a shrunken pie, it may appear that you’re standing still. At least, for now. When the pie grows, your share will grow, too.”

So how does this apply to website marketing and communication?

It’s very simple. On-line advertising is now widely accepted as the most cost effective, best targeted and easily monitored way to attract new customers and clients. But that’s only half the story. Conversion is key. There is little point attracting qualified visitors to your website unless the site is ‘optimised’ in every sense of the word, so that your visitors act in a way that produces a tangible benefit.

I can hear you saying “Yes Mark, I know that, but we can’t afford to redesign our website. We’ve got salaries to pay.”

The good news is that you don’t need to redesign your website to realise significant benefits. A minor housekeeping project can achieve that.

Here are just three of the many things you can do to your existing website to improve results without breaking the bank:

*** Check your links, spelling and freshness.

Broken links create doubt in the mind of a new user about your organisation’s credibility. If the broken links are at key stages in the user journey then you are likely to be losing even more business.

Xenu is a free link checking application and you can download it free  here:

http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html

Poor spelling is another credibility shocker. I recently visited a website for a UK independent school to find this: “New Website Comming Soon”. (Yes … I told them, and they booked our website housekeeping service.)

Spend some time proofing the copy at the important points in your website and take the chance to make it clearer, more concise, consistent and compelling. We offer a website copy writing service if you don’t have time.

If you bought a newspaper Monday to Thursday and found that the front page was exactly the same every day, would you buy it on Friday? Of course not. Starting with your copyright date, check that your site is as fresh as it can be. Automate the random display of news and featured content if possible and avoid having a ‘recent’ news item that is months old.

We offer a website housekeeping service for a fraction of the cost of the redesign of a website. (Don’t worry, we’ll get you on that one later.) All we need is 30 minutes with you either face-to-face, on Skype, on-line chat or email. Then we need FTP access to your site or access to your Content Management System. We’ll do the rest. The housekeeping tasks include, findability, credibility, usability and readability and make more prominent the calls to action that deliver the required results.

The great thing about doing this is that you won’t need senior approval for the changes we propose; you can improve website results significantly without the time/cost of a major redesign and you can claim all the credit yourself!

Drop me a line with your URL and the URLs of your 3 main competitors and I’ll have a costed housekeeping proposal back to you within 48 hours. Within days you could have solved the main failings of your current website, overtaken the competition and bought some precious time before you next redesign.

For more information, email me at mark@escapecommittee.com, Skype call me on markbwalmsley or call +44 (0)1273 915 416.

Chuck’s blog is here:
http://www.fishingforcustomers.blogspot.com/

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