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Provided by Builderwire Inc.

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How to Deliver Good Content on your Site


Maximizing the Sales Potential of your Website


Showcasing your Inventory’s Breadth

When customers visit your store, they’re treated to a view of how extensive your inventory is. They’ll be able to judge right away whether you have what it takes to handle their building project’s requirements. While it’s true that they won’t be able to see every item you have in stock, chances are you’ll have a sales personnel right next to them ready and waiting to address any questions they might have. If only things were that simple when it comes to selling online.


When it comes to e-commerce, it’s not that easy. You may have over 50,000 materials online but if customers can’t see or find them, they will leave right away and move to the next store on their Google list until they find what they need.


Remember that when it comes to selling online - you only have about three to five seconds to win over potential customers. How do you convince them that you’re the right one for them? Better yet, how do you showcase your inventory’s breadth given the nature of websites?


Leave a lasting impression - Keep your website's design clean and professional


A website’s look and feel can convey what a company is all about. Incorporating images of delivery trucks and your stock into the overall design gives customers an immediate idea how huge your space is. Make sure that the layout you use is clean and crisp to give your website a professional look. Don't hesitate to have your products take center stage. Think of what other e-commerce websites do. More often than not, they don't say how great they are. They get right down to business and show you what they have to offer.


If your website still uses unflattering and unprofessional fonts like Comic Sans in bright neon colors, it’s probably time for a major makeover.


Make the most of your website's navigation menu


The navigation menu is a powerful tool. If customers can’t find what they’re looking for on the homepage, they’ll take a peep at your menu buttons. Make sure that your storefront is neatly represented in the navigation menu. Add submenus under your product link to display the various product categories you have in your store. This gives customers a quick glimpse of the products you have in stock.


Display related or alternative product items on your product pages


Adding similar or related items somewhere on the product pages also helps. This gives customers options to choose from. Builderwire's IBOS 3.0 has a "Random Items by Category" feature which allows you to populate your product pages with other items belonging to the same category.


Have a Search field


Make sure that your website features a Search field. This will make it easier for your customers to instantly find any item they’re shopping for.


When it comes to selling online, breadth places a major part in convincing customers that you’re the shop for them. Make sure that you showcase yours in order for your website to reach its full potential as an e-commerce portal.


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What Can Twitter Do For Your Business?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you’re well aware that Twitter has become so popular that companies from small businesses to major international brands have joined the bandwagon and set up their own accounts. However, what exactly can this social network giant do for your business?


First and foremost, Twitter is a communications platform which gives you an additional tool to interact with your customers. Does your company have something it wants to say to the world at large? If the answer is yes, then Twitter can do an awful lot for you. It’s a quick and easy way to disperse company updates, ranging from your latest events to changes in your policies. It can even be used to address customer concerns, requests and even complaints.


With the right strategy, Twitter can be more than just another platform to talk to your customers. Here are some of the things you can enjoy if you're able to maximize its full potential:


  1. Referrals

    The more you tweet, the more your circle of followers grows and the more referrals you'll get.


  2. Instant exposure

    If your event or news needs instant exposure, then Twitter is your medium. You can reach a whole lot of people in a short span of time.


  3. Building contacts and influence

    Twitter gives you the opportunity to be heard by millions of people. That said, you should target the right audience in order to get the most out of your tweet.


  4. Build up a buzz

    Twitter is a great way to promote and get people excited over your event, conference or product launch.


  5. Excellent brand builder

    Twitter gives you an instant glimpse of how much people are talking about your brand and what they're saying.


  6. Coffee machine/water cooler substitute

    Twitter is another portal where employees can keep in touch with one another and even stay up-to-date with the latest company news.


  7. Follow competitors or sales leads

    Twitter is a great marketing research tool since it can help give you insights on what your competitors are doing.


  8. Crisis communications

    With Twitter, you can immediately respond to a concern or complaint. It's a great tool to use in a crisis since it allows you to respond quickly to questions that might ultimately harm your brand if left unanswered.A quick response can mitigate the situation immediately or reduce any damage to your brand's reputation.


  9. Customer service

    Twitter's ability to provide a quick response allows you to give feedback immediately to customer queries and requests.


  10. Thought leadership

    Not all your tweets have to be about a product or an upcoming event. Build a relationship with your community by expressing your ideas and thoughts on matters of importance.


  11. Corporate communication

    Short company announcements can be tweeted in an instant ensuring quick dissemination of information to your followers.


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What Is SEO and Why Should You Care?

The last five years has seen SEO practitioners and website gurus hype Search Engine Optimization as the determining factor of whether a website will become a resounding success or not. Yet even though SEO is at the forefront of every website owner’s mind, there are a vast number of people who are still unsure just what Search Engine Optimization really means. There are those who think, even in this day and age, that SEO is the cyber equivalent of snake oil potion.


To help clarify just what SEO is about and why it’s vital to the survival of your website, we need to understand what it really is. When a person needs to look for something online, that person usually searches through a search engine. Google is the number one search engine on the Web so it's Google that often sets the standards for search engine optimization. Google sends out crawlers to the millions of web pages that it indexed, going through a page's content to look for the searched keyword. The results are then displayed on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP ).


The goal of Search Engine Optimization is to give your web pages a fighting chance to make it to the top of the SERPs. Obviously, the first page of Google is prime real estate. Think about it - when was the last time you checked Google’s Page 10? So, the next question is - how do you get to Google’s Page 1? In connection to this question, how do Google and other search engines rank Web pages to determine whether or not they make it to the highly coveted first page? Google is very secretive of its search algorithm but there are several known elements that can either positively or negatively affect a page’s ranking.


  1. The Age of your Web Domain

    Google loves old sites. It's probably because older sites mean that they've been around for a long time and are already established. Newer domains are typically sandboxed by Google for 2 to 8 months just to test their mettle.


  2. Location of Your Hosting Server

    The place where your website is hosted can make or break you in terms of search engine ranking. If you're located in the United States but have your website hosted in Europe, that can cause people to doubt your business' legitimacy resulting in a slip down Google's rankings. So when setting up your site, make sure to ask your hosting company what continent or country will house your online portal.


  3. Stay With The Right Company

    We're not just talking about staying with the right hosting company. While doing business with a reputable hosting company is a given, you also have to consider the other websites that will be in the same virtual server you're in. If your company's website is placed in a server with businesses marked a spam, there's a big chance that you'll be labeled as one too. So make sure that your hosting company puts you in the right company.


  4. Keep Your URL Format Clean

    A clean URL directory indicates legitimacy in the eyes of people. If your URL directory carries a lot of symbols or characters, both your visitors and search engines might not consider your website as a safe and legitimate online portal. This can lead to a decrease in traffic which will result in a drop in the page ranks of today's top search engines.


  5. Put a Premium on Content

    Content will always be king because it's what your visitors will look at when they visit your website. If you have nothing useful to provide, expect a decrease in the traffic coming to your website. Keep your customers by ensuring that your content is worth reading. Avoid keyword stuffing too since this will alert readers that you're just using content solely for optimization purposes only. Remember that people like to get something in return for their visit and good, reliable content is one way of giving something back.


  6. Use Internal Links Properly

    Nothing is more frustrating than a website where you can't find what you're looking for. So to keep your visitors from dealing with this, it's important to have a working set of internal links. When your pages are connected correctly to one another, visitors will have a better user experience whenever they visit your website. Search engine crawlers will also be able to crawl and index your pages properly when your internal links are interlinked and working. .


  7. Build Trust with Your Visitors

    Trust can be earned through time. The older a website is, the more people tend trust it. Of course, there are elements that you can put in your website to earn some “trust points” from Google. One way is by making it easier for customers to contact you. Be sure that your phone number, email address and other contact information on your website is up-to-date, with someone on-hand to receive the customer's call or email.


  8. Use The Right Keywords

    Keywords can help you get noticed but the right keywords will help you stay relevant. So be sure your web pages are given keywords that are appropriate for their content. If you're business involves selling jewelry, your website should not have keywords about lumber, fishing or sports. Your images and ALT tags should also contain the correct keywords so that search engine crawlers will index them properly.


  9. Outbound Links - Connect To Websites Of The Same Industry

    Outbound links plays a role in optimization because they help bring in Referral Links. However when using outbound links, always remember that “relevance is very important.” This means you should only link to websites that are in the same industry as you are. Linking to a website that does not offer the same product and service can make people think that you're just fishing for traffic and brand you as a nuisance company.


  10. Don't Be Tempted To Buy Links

    Don't buy or exchange links. More often than not, these links may lead your visitors to bogus websites. Market and promote your business online to build visitors and direct traffic to your website over time. If you do, then the relevant links will follow.


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How to Create SEO-friendly Web Pages

Starting to notice your website getting a bit thin on content? Before you start pounding on your keyboard, you may want to consider sprinkling some SEO into your content. If you’re not sure how to go about it, here are some tips to consider when creating optimized web pages:


Make sure you have a clear idea what keywords to optimize for. If you're unsure which keywords to use, do keyword research to get an idea what keywords are competitive (translation: difficult to rank) and what your long-tail keywords might be (translation: what keywords are easier to rank, but not as popular).


Once you have your keywords, design your pages accordingly. Optimize one keyword per page. You should also put keywords in navigational links because they’re important to search engine eyes. Create static header and footer navigation links. Make sure that links are text, not images, so that they can be read by Googlebot. Implement bread crumbs for increasing website navigation structure (Ex. Home >> Products >> Lumber).


Make sure that your meta descriptions are unique for every page and come with targeted keywords. Do not stuff your meta descriptions with keywords. Write a compelling description that's relevant and contains all the information you want your audience to know about your page. Remember that whatever you put in the meta description will be displayed by Google in its results page so make it count.


Add keywords in your headlines. The first word is of the highest importance, with the second word coming in as the second most important and so forth. While you're at it, make sure that all your headlines and sub-headlines are tagged as H1 and H2 respectively. Add a keyword as close to the beginning of the Title tag as possible. Also, keep your Title tag at 70 or less characters to fit Google's character limit for SERPs.


Search engine crawlers can't "see" images. Just because you have a picture of a great-looking power tool doesn't mean the crawlers will know that it's a power tool. Label your images accordingly using the ALT tag. You can also utilize the IMG tag. Make sure your all images - including your site logo - contain a targeted keyword.


Pay special attention to your page's content. Having content that's relevant to your targeted keyword is vital to getting a high page rank. It's equally important as well for your page to have REAL content. This means providing information that is useful and targeted to actual people, not robots. Lastly, since search engines also recognize bold text, it would be a good idea to emphasize your keywords by using the "strong" or "b" HTML tags.


Avoid keyword stuffing. Remember, people will read what you wrote. If your content consists mainly of keywords, it won't make sense and will leave an impression on your visitors that you're just trying to draw in web traffic.


In conclusion, Search Engine Optimization doesn't start and stop at the page level. You have to look at your entire website and make sure that you have decent on-page optimization. Otherwise, all that effort you put in to make a great content-filled page might not reach your intended audience.


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What Keeps Your Visitors Glued to your Website?

If the only thing your website provides is marketing fodder for your brand, it has a great chance of alienating your visitors. While it's true that a website is used to promote a company's product or service, using it to say that your brand is the best every time will get old really quick, no matter how many ways you spin it.


The Internet provides an amazing opportunity for you to develop a relationship with your customers and you won't be able to do that if your website drives away visitors. Keep in mind that people go online primarily for information. Given the sheer volume of resources available at their disposal, your customers won't hang around if your website has nothing to offer except sales messages.


Here are some things to consider when creating content on the Web to help you engage the interest of your customers and keep them from leaving your website:


  1. Keep Your Navigation Simple

    Make sure that your website is easy to navigate. This means you shouldn't bury your content deep in your site's architecture. A quick link to a directory of articles in the navigation menu or the home page for instance, can help keep your customers from getting lost.


  2. Provide Content That's Helpful

    No one likes reading marketing literature, especially not on the Web. People look for useful information online. Even if you know your customers are interested in your products, you should spare them the sales talk. Instead, you should look for answers to the questions that led them to your site in the first place. Case studies, advice on how to use your products or practical tips are just some helpful information you can include in your content.


  3. Aim to Entertain and Educate

    Take time to polish your content so that it's entertaining to read. People are easily turned off by boring content. Keep it witty but not obnoxious. Write a story about your company that focus on your brand's history, what you've accomplished, and what you aim to do in the future. This will give them an idea how your brand was established and learn from your success and failures. Talk about the people you work with behind the scenes. People in general are drawn to personalities since they're very relatable.


  4. Keep 'Em Coming

    Always remember that when it comes to online supremacy, you'll be competing against thousands of content-filled websites looking to get a piece of your customers' attention. To stand out, you need to keep providing a regular flow of content that's fresh to keep visitors from leaving your website. One way to do this is by creating a blog or a directory of articles to feed your visitors' appetite for more information. You can also develop a library of resources that your visitors can download or use to help them with their concerns. Not only will this establish your expertise, it will also help you earn your customers' trust.


  5. Test for Usability

    You need to constantly strive to improve your website's look and functionality. Ask friends and family how they feel about your browsing through your site. What questions do they have that you haven't already answered? Having a website is a never-ending process of tweaks and updates so never rest on your laurels.


    While selling your brand is the primary objective, it shouldn't be the only one. You also need to focus on your customers' needs for a user-friendly website that's filled with useful content to keep them from moving on to different competitors.


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How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Business

Social networks were once considered a novelty by the business world. From Facebook to Twitter and from LinkedIn to Google Plus, the belief was that nothing could trump the standard advertising medium of print, radio and TV. However, when small businesses took a chance on social media - due to lack of marketing funds or just to try something new - the feedback they got was positive which led to other businesses incorporating social media into their marketing campaigns.


Social media can be a great tool for developing business relationships. Giving companies the ability to respond quickly and interact directly with their customers, businesses can go directly to the source to get the response they need. If you're looking to try social media, here are some tips you should consider to get the most out of them:


Explore your Options


The first thing you have to understand is that you don't have to be on every single social media platform to make an impact. Think about your company's goals and choose the right one for your needs.


There's a broad array of social media websites out there and they all operate a little differently. Based on your company's objectives, you'll be able to figure out which avenues will be most effective for you.


Facebook


Facebook currently holds the distinction of being the top social network to date. With over 1.5 billion subscribers alone, using Facebook to establish a connection with potential customers makes the most sense due to its reach and popularity. Chances are, no matter the industry and who your target market is, they're on Facebook.


There are different ways to utilize Facebook. One is to create your own Facebook page. A Facebook page serves as a portal which you can use to build relationships with customers. It lets you display information about your company, from your address to your contact numbers. It also lets you post entries where you can promote your latest offerings, promotions and company events. A Facebook page lets you post news and updates - with the option to include images or videos - about your services and products.


Aside from a creating a page, Facebook also lets you post ads through their Facebook Ads feature. While it comes with a fee, it offers an alternative method to marketing your products and services. Depending on the plan you avail off, you'll have the option to have Facebook prioritize your ads and have them displayed prominently on Facebook pages. .


Twitter


Twitter works well for businesses looking to provide their customers with quick updates. Since Twitter users check their accounts quite often throughout the day, you'll be able to reach your target demographic right away.


A tweet is limited to just 280 characters so anything you post on Twitter must be short and sweet. The best way to maximize this medium is by putting a short description about the update - using as much of the 280 character limit as possible - followed by a link to a page or website that shows the full details of the tweet you posted.


Aside from links, Twitter lets you upload images from JPGs to animated GIFs. In terms of marketing, this gives you the opportunity to display images of your latest promotions and make them accessible to your customers.


Social Media Manager


Setting up your social media campaigns take time and resources. You can cut your cost by using a social media manager tool which lets you manage your networks with just one dashboard. HootSuite is just one of the social media managers that can help you set up tasks, like scheduling updates to go out throughout the day, saving you time and energy.


If you can afford to assign a particular employee to handle your company's social media networking, do so. Choose someone with a good communications background and knowledge in handling customer concerns so that your business is put in the best light.


Establishing a strong follower base takes time, but the rewards once you're able to pull it off are worth the effort.


Keep Your Networks Active


One thing you don't want to do is leave your social network accounts idle. Many people take the time to set up accounts on a number of social networks and then once they're done, they're gone. Most think that once they have a Facebook page or a Twitter account set up, people will miraculously come knocking at their door. Nothing can be further from the truth. When people don't see new content on these social media sites, they leave right away. So make sure that there is a lot of activity going on in your social media accounts.


Even if you don't have any new promos, products or events to report, you should keep in touch with your customers. Comment on their Facebook updates or "retweet" industry stories on Twitter. Any of these activities will keep your social media accounts relevant. Remember, it doesn't always have to be about you. You need to stay active and visible, or the following you have worked so hard to build may look elsewhere for content. Be sure to stay in the loop at all times.


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Building an Effective Facebook Page

Having a Facebook page is a must for any enterprise looking to use social media to market what they have to offer. Nowadays, having one can increase your business' legitimacy online since it shows that your company actually exists.


While building a Facebook page can be done quickly, building an effective one is actually a work in progress. It will require careful planning and the proper use of Facebook's different features to make it work. To give you an idea how to create an effective Facebook page, here are some of the things you can consider:


Set Your Goals


The first thing you have to do before building an effective Facebook page is to determine what your objectives are. Do you want to sell products? Are you attempting to create a community where you can develop new relationships between customers?


Once you've decided on your goals, you can then fully utilize Facebook without wasting time on features that have no bearing on your marketing campaign. Setting up a Facebook page is easy, even for someone with basic knowledge in computers. Once the page has been created, you and your team can now focus on having the other aspects of your social media strategy align with the page you created to ensure that it generates the results you're looking to achieve.


Make Full Use of the Features


Facebook provides a number of features which you can use once you've created your page. Here are some things to consider doing on your Facebook page:


  1. Facebook allows you to post videos in your timeline. Videos are very popular and your best bet to engage your fans. Whether it's a video about an event or a tutorial on how to use your products, if you have videos, post them.
  2. Make sure that you enable - and even encourage - customer interaction by allowing people to post feedback on your Wall. This is a great platform for customers to tell you how they feel about your products or services. You can find this feature on your privacy settings.
  3. Many companies already upload photos of their products. However, one way to add some excitement and customer interaction to the activity is giving customers the capability to tag photos of themselves using your products to your page.
  4. Add a product tab to your page so that fans can view your products and purchase them without having to leave your Facebook page.
  5. Get creative by installing custom page apps. Create quizzes, games and other interactive features to keep your customers engaged. Anything that lets your followers hang out and browse your page is a good thing.

With a variety of tools at your disposal, it would be a shame to focus on using only just one feature. Maximize the potential of your Facebook page by using most - if not all - of the features currently available.


Don't Be Blindsided by Likes - Strategize


Don't be misled by the number of “Likes” on a competitor's Facebook page. Your goal shouldn't be limiting yourself to just getting the most number of Likes. Ask yourself - which would you rather have, a small yet highly-targeted audience or a large group of unqualified audience who isn't even part of your market?


Developing a clear strategy will help you focus on the big picture. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, then the design and features of your Facebook page should reflect this. If you have the budget, consider placing ads on Facebook to help generate more traffic.


When you develop your strategy, keep these elements in mind:


  1. Design - Instead of using a traditional layout, you should create a customizable welcome tab or landing page to attract people to your page. There are Welcome apps you can install on your page which allow you to show one design for people who haven't "liked" your page and another for those who have.

  2. Promotions - On your website and other advertising media, you should encourage customers to "Like" you on Facebook. You can encourage them by offering special coupons or other incentives which they can avail from your company if they participate.

  3. Content - Sometimes too much content can be a bad thing. Flooding followers with numerous updates in a day can turn them off. Don't turn yourself into a TV commercial that people ignore or avoid. Your goal should not be spewing sales pitches to your customers; you should be engaging them in conversations. One or two updates a day is plenty. Instead, focus on addressing your customers' concerns and questions. This will show them that you're willing to be part of the conversation allowing you to build a better business relationship with your clients.


Having a Facebook page is an excellent way to engage your community. However, you need to build it right to make it an effective tool in dealing with your customers. Plus, you also need to interact with them as frequent as you can to build on enhancing customer experience. Once you've done all of that and your customers stay with you, that's the time you can say that your Facebook page is a resounding success.


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Creating PDF Catalogues on the Fly

The trouble with printing catalogs or price sheets in advance is forecasting what your customers are looking for. Aside from figuring what brands or products to target, you also have to deal with the cost of printing. This will hit hard especially if you need to print every time you update your catalog. To help clients avoid the costs of printing their price sheets after every update, Builderwire created the PDF Catalog Creation feature.



The PDF Catalog Creation feature lets you create downloadable catalogs based on the existing brands or product categories found in your web storefront. Displayed on your website, you’ll be able to highlight specific product pages or even create a version that combines different brands and categories into one price sheet. Pricing is up-to-date and can be set based on a specific tier since all data will be sourced from your catalog’s actual prices. The feature also offers custom branding giving you the option to display your company logo, address information and contact details.


When it comes to printing catalog price sheets, you can spend time studying what your customers frequently shop for and then shell out a budget for printing. However, it still won’t guarantee that you’ll get the results you want. With our PDF Catalog Creation tool, you can create a catalog that can be downloaded and printed by your customers saving you on the cost and effort of finding out what they want and then printing the catalog on your own.


To see the PDF Catalog Creation feature in action, get in touch with us for a free demo.


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Building an Exceptional Quoting System for your Customers

When your business relies on e-commerce, you need a reliable quoting system that is easy to manage and gives your customers a smooth, effortless online experience. Builderwire Inc.’s delivers exactly that with its IBOS 3.0 system.


The IBOS 3.0 contains a holistic quoting system that’s perfect whether your business is B2B or B2C. What separates it from other quoting systems is the way it’s built. The IBOS 3.0 is completely rewritten from scratch, with our top developers figuring out what’s lacking and what features needed to be added to improve performance.


What’s more, setting up the quoting system is painless because we’ll set it up for you. Once the system is in place, your customers can then request for a quote through your website's shopping cart. It’s that simple.





For your B2B customers, the IBOS 3.0 quoting system offers the capability to view your quote history. Its dashboard provides a sort and filter feature which lets you search for specific quotes by quote number, status, job number, job name, and date.





The quote dashboard also lets you view your quote details and convert them to PDF or Excel format for downloading and printing.






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