Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Tagged web development

Tip: How to close more business off your website

Answer: prominently list your service fees on your home page to weed out unfitting clients.

If you sell products, this is a no-brainer. But since a majority of U.S. business are service-based companies, this is a must if you want to spend more time closing business instead of qualifying it. At the least, and when using custom bids, you should be listing your minimum purchase order on your home page (yes, I said home page) — and DON’T bury your pricing; make it palpable.

“But I don’t compete on pricing, so there’s no need to list my fees,” you may exclaim. Neither do I. But the reality remains that a majority of consumers still do, so you’d be wise in politely showing ill-suited customers the door sooner rather than later — it really is better for all involved.

I’ve been doing this for two years now and can honestly say it has increased my close rate while improving my sales effectiveness (read: no more wasting time on clients I’m not well-suited for). I regularly refer prospective web clients to my single-page (though outdated) site to ensure they understand from the get-go if I’m within their budget.

How to increase your website’s usability, user goals, and SEO traffic using a single footer paragraph

One of the things the new Griffio website is lacking, outside of the all important content that is coming soon, is footer paragraphs. Footer paragraphs are a great way to increase your website’s usability, user goals, and traffic via SEO juice. Take this one for example that I use on a fan site I publish:

Infendo is a gaming blog for gamers passionate about all things Nintendo. The site covers news, tips, cheats, rumors, speculation, reviews, culture, Wii, DS, GameCube, Game Boy Advance and a whole bunch more several times daily. Subscribe to our RSS feed, listen to Infendo Radio — the number one Nintendo podcast on the internet — or send us a tip! Infendo. Always informed.”

As you can see, the footer copy serves as a site summary and a call to action featured at the bottom of every page on the site. It’s keyword rich, it makes sense to humans, and encourages them to further interact with the site in a way we desire. Will your site see an explosion of traffic after implementing such an idea? Probably not. But it’s better than the alternative as analytics prove. White space and a bland copyright statement in your footer is a waste of space despite their clean looks. People like suggestions when reaching the end of content. Make sure you give it to them with well written, key word rich, and action-encouraging footer paragraphs. I promise you’ll see results, however small.

[Thanks, Nicholas]

Newly launhced Griffio project:

After six and a half months, we’ve just deployed our latest social website built on the Rails framework. We’re pleasantly surprised with the turnout. The new offers tagged browsing, a member profile system, a user-generated blog (hyperaggregated), recipe box, stat tracking of just about anything you want, weight loss competitions, AJAX graphs, and a whole lot more. Sign up for a FREE account today and let me know what you think in the comments. Credits:

Publisher: Chad Blodgett
Architect: Blake Snow
Developer: Robert Bradford

UPDATE: Well this is some nice early praise from Jeff Jordan the sales ninja: “[WeightLossWars] is already my favorite social network… This is the first social network that I have convinced my wife to join. She’s always been a hater of the 2.0 stuff, so this is a big step in our relationship… Congrats to Chad, Blake and the Griffio team for teaming up to make this happen!” Thanks, Jeff!

The joy of nearing completion of a large social website

(Warning: heavy feel-good self promotion to follow) Robert and I are nearing completion of a new, online weight loss community built in Ruby on Rails. And I’ve gotta say I’m very pleased with the turnout. Robert — the lead developer — is a use case ninja and does an excellent job ensuring every base is covered. Granted, the application still has some bugs to work out, but at the moment, I’d argue this is the best “built according to design” site Griffio has ever released. Heck, my biased self would argue this to be the best social site ever to come out of Utah… if you’re into health and weight loss, that is. Weight Loss Wars version 2 hits perpetual beta next week and should go live shortly thereafter.