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Do You Know What Your Customers Want? How do you know?

constant_contactSeriously?

Have you asked them?  Or, do you just assume what your clients/customers want?   That can be a terrible mistake… one that COULD put you right out of business before you even get started.

Perish that thought.(!)

This October will the 5 year anniversary of The Web Coach.  And only YESTERDAY I conducted my first official Survey with all of my subscribers.

I don’t always practice what I preach (oops!)

I signed up with Constant Contact a month ago and finally took full advantage of the free survey feature.

Boy, am I glad I did! I’ve learned a few GOOD things, confirmed other thoughts, and got some constructive feedback.  (we can all use a little of that from time to time)

This is what I found:

  1. People are busy.  They want brief, fact-based, information. Fast.
  2. People aren’t always sure of what you offer.  And they need to be reminded, regularly.
  3. Survey’s allow your readers to TELL you what they want more of.
  4. You find out what you’re doing RIGHT! 🙂  Affirmation is gooooood.
  5. You’ll find out what needs to be revised, ditched or done away with.
  6. Receiving feedback opens the door to two-way communication and improved products/services.
  7. You can use your participants as beta testers for new product/service offerings.
  8. You also find holes in your marketing cycle.
  9. You’ll find opportunities to make more money! Woohoo!
  10. Because knowing what your market needs is everything!

This information is so valuable to me.  Creating this survey was so easy to do, I’m going to schedule this into my quarterly business review.  Yeah!

So, my friend, do you *really* know what your customers want?

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Web Coach Tip: Did You Know? Right Here – Right NOW! Video

December 21, 2008 1 comment

((((WOW))))

I’ve reached “nerd-vanna!” Absolutely fascinating.  Take 5 minutes to watch this video.

My friend Mark Pierce asked,  “How would you answer the question, “So what does it all mean?”

I think the most exciting aspect for me are the opportunities… if you don’t shy away from progression.

On the flip side, we do need to be selective about all the info we take in. Filter out the junk, and focus on the important.

And, yet, another angle. What is your definition of success?

  • Having a high IQ? Then perhaps you should move to India and study with the geniuses.
  • Making a lot of money? then study entrepreneurship under the Forbes 100 richest people, and model them.
  • Having a technology degree? Better get some hands on experience in your chosen field – otherwise you might become obsolete.  Being self-taught is a good thing!

I guess it all means…

  • we must be flexible, and accept change.
  • we must be faithful, and trust God.
  • we must not be afraid, change and the unknown are certain.
  • we must reach out, and care for one another.
  • we must do what no machine can: encourage and coach one another.

These are just a few points… there are dozens, if not hundreds others!

I love dreaming of possibilities – I hope you enjoyed this video!

Be EMPOWERED and Share the love! dp

14 Tools to Legally Spy On Your Competition

October 13, 2008 Leave a comment

Written by: Bryan Eisenberg

spy legally on your competitorsHave you ever wished you were Bond? James Bond?  Here are 007+007 = fourteen ways to spy on your competitors’ web sites, without breaking any FISA laws.

1. Statbrain – Using several sources, Statbrain’s algorithm computes the number of visitors to a website based on offsite factors like backlinks, Alexa Rank etc. Statbrain does not have access to log files or any hit-counter information. Use this as a rough relative benchmark of your traffic to theirs. First run your website and compare the results given by StatBrain to your actual results to get a sense of its accuracy in your category. Figure out what the multiplier is and then try it on a competitor.

2. AideRSS – Find out which of your competitors’ blog posts and topics are engaging people. This should provide you with a list of topics you should be covering. Engagement doesn’t necessarily mean your competitor’s opinion is right or even agreed with — but it does mean the engaged people are interested in the topic and therefore why not your opinion on the topic.

3. FeedCompare – If you use Feedburner to track your rss subscribers you can compare the size of your feed to others. Just like in #1 above, figure out your own multiplier and then compare it to the competition.

4. Xinu Returns – Xinu Runs a report from multiple sites to tell you how well a site is doing in popular search engines, social bookmarking sites and other technical details. How well are you stacking up against your 5 biggest competitors?

5. Google Trends For Websites – Enter up to five topics and see how often those topics been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most. You can learn more on how to use this from our friend, Avinash Kaushik.

6. Google Insights for Search – With Google Insights for Search, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, and time frames. Again, Avinash explains how to use this well.

7. Microsoft’s Keyword Forecast tool – This tool forecasts the impression count and predicts demographic distributions of keywords.

8. Microsoft’s Search Funnels – Customers often perform searches by typing related keywords in specific sequences. This tool helps in visualizing and analyzing the customers’ search sequences. Search Engine guru Mike Grehan explains the value of these query chains.

9. WayBackMachine – Go back in web history to see how your competitors’ site has changed through the years. Look for the things that have stayed consistent, because those might have been the most successful. In the same vein, what have you changed on your own site during that time? It’s easy to lose track, particularly of your own work, and to think of your current site as “how it’s always been”.

10. Web Page Speed Analyzer – Compare the download speed of your pages with those of your competitors to see which are loading quicker. Quicker loading pages tend to have an advantage at converting visitors. This analyzer provides a detail analysis of the page elements. For a rough comparison of two pages side by side try WebSlug. And, WebWait is great when you want to get accurate speed results from the visitors perspective because WebWait pulls down the entire website into your browser, so it takes into account Ajax/Javascript processing and image loading which other tools ignore.

11. Web Page Readability – By comparing the readability score of web pages you can optimize your writing and make sure that you aren’t creating overly complex sentences and paragraphs for your audience.

12. Attention Meter – Attentionmeter gives you a quick snapshot comparing any websites you want (traffic) using Alexa, Compete, and Quancast.

13. Websitegrader – Website Grader is a free tool that measures the marketing effectiveness of a website. It provides a score that incorporates things like website traffic, SEO, social popularity and other technical factors. It also provides some basic advice on how the website can be improved from a marketing perspective. Also worth checking out Twittergrader to check on your competitors’ twitter accounts.

14. Google Alerts – set up searches for your competitors, key employees, and keywords to monitor their activity.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it: Try some (or all) of the above techniques and report back on your intriguing espionage! This tape will self-destruct in 10 clicks.

Shhhhh… care to share your spying secrets? What tools or techniques do you use?

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