Chris Norton

Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all the new business they''re getting from their new website.

Top 10 Tips for Choosing a New Domain Name

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
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on Thursday, 16 August 2012
in Domain Names 0 Comments

Are you creating a new mini website or thinking a new domain might help boost traffic? Here are 10 must-know ingredients of any great domain name!

  1. The domain name contains your top keyword(s). 
  2. The domain name is unique. Bonus points if your domain name hints at your company’s unique value proposition.
  3. The .com version of this domain name is available. Of course you can purchase the local country code version, but you must be prepared for the inevitable customers that by default are going to try to visit the .com version.
  4. The domain name is easy to type and remember.
  5. The domain is as short as possible. Shorter domain names get a slightly higher click-through rate.  
  6. The domain name is intuitive. That is to say, it’s obvious from your domain name what you do.
  7. The domain name won’t get you sued! Avoid trademark infringement.
  8. The domain name includes your brand name.
  9. The domain name does not include hyphens and numbers. Customers will inevitably forget to enter the hyphens or will mix up the numbers leaving your website with fewer visitors.
  10. Your domain name does not follow the latest trendy misspellings. Help your customers remember your domain name. Be more like twitter and less like flickr. Keep the ‘e’.
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Featured Client Site for August 2012: Sonshine & Broccoli

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
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on Thursday, 16 August 2012
in Featured Client Website 0 Comments

Website On-Demand is thrilled to have once again been brought onboard to design and develop Sonshine and Broccoli’s new websites.

Sonshine and Broccoli have entertained kids of all ages across the GTA, including live concerts at the Leah Posluns Theatre, the Al Green Theatre, and Mel Lastman Square. The duo have also released two successful children’s albums: Sonshine and Broccoli Jam (2004) and Feel The Beat (2009).

Check out the new Sonshine and Broccoli website.

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10 Tips to Improve Your Website Content

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
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on Wednesday, 11 July 2012
in Copywriting 0 Comments

Do you dislike writing your website content? Does looking at Word and seeing a blank page staring back at you give you pause? If content writing isn’t your favourite pastime, you’re not alone!  

Hopefully these handy tips below will, if not make copywriting fun, at the very least make your copywriting efforts easier and the results more satisfying to your website visitors.

  1. Put your reader first. Picture someone you know and imagine you’re writing to them. As well, address the reader directly in your copy by using the word ‘you’.
  2. Just like you were taught in school, your headline or title states your main point or conclusion, your first few paragraphs expand on it then any secondary points are covered later in the body text.
  3. Make reading your content easy. Break your article into short sections, use subheadings to separate sections, break long paragraphs into short paragraphs and break long sentences into short sentences.
  4. Use simple words. Don’t go for fancy words when a simpler, more commonplace word will work just as well.
  5. Avoid industry and technical jargon. Unless you’re certain a particular technical term is going to be understood by 95% of your audience or more, don’t use it.
  6. Be concise. Your readers will thank you. Edit out unnecessary words and sentences, avoid redundancies and delete unnecessary adjectives.
  7. Include more facts in your copy. The more facts in your copy the better. Be specific, definite, concrete.
  8. If your text is meant to sell something, write about benefits and not features! And start talking about benefits right from the beginning. Don’t wait until the third or fourth paragraph to mention how your customers will benefit from your product.
  9. Write in a friendly, conversational style but use colloquial expressions cautiously (or avoid them altogether) if your audience isn’t composed entirely of native English speakers. Use pronouns, contractions. To add a bit of drama to your writing, don’t be afraid to use sentence fragments (e.g., “We’re the only bakery to use XYZ in our cakes. The only one.”) or begin sentences with conjunctions (e.g., “But I can’t force you.”)
  10. Break up your text with graphic techniques to emphasize words and phrases. For your convenience, here’s a list of techniques to try:
  1. Underline
  2. Capital letters
  3. Indented paragraphs
  4. Bold
  5. Italics
  6. Colored type
  7. Fake handwriting
  8. Arrows
  9. Highlighting
  10. Boxed out copy
  11. Call-outs
  12. P.S.
  13. Bullets
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Keyword Research Brainstorming 101 (aka How to Make Your Pages Show Up in Google)

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
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on Thursday, 14 June 2012
in Keyword Research 0 Comments

Do you have pages on your website that have little or no traffic? Think they could be doing better? You’re probably right. It’s time to put those wasted pages to work for your business and get them bringing in traffic!

You can put those pages to work by including keywords in their content. But not just any keywords though, you want to use keywords and key phrases your potential customers are already typing in to Google to find businesses like yours.

Unfortunately chances are good that many of the keywords relevant to your business already have tons of your competitors vying for top spot on Google. So how do you get around this little problem? By going after keywords your customers use but that your competitors don’t know about yet.

The following is the actual process I follow when brainstorming up keywords for myself and Clients. You can use this process too to find juicy, hidden keywords that your competitors might not know about yet.To get started, fire up Microsoft Excel and follow the steps below.

Steps for Keyword Research Brainstorming

  1. Produce a list of key one to three word phrases that describe your products and services.
  2. Come up with synonyms that potential customers might use for those products (an online thesaurus like http://thesaurus.com/ can help here)
  3. Create a list of all the areas of focus in your industry. Not sure what the areas of focus are in your industry? Look at leading websites in your industry and study how they break down their website into sections. The titles of the sections likely cover the areas of focus in your industry.
  4. Broaden your list by thinking of higher-level terms of which your products or services are a subset. For example, if your business was a theatre, a higher-level for your service might be ‘entertainment’.
  5. Review your existing site and extract what appear to be key phrases from your existing pages.
  6. Most industries have associations. Review industry association websites in your field to see what phrases they use to discuss your industry.
  7. List all your various brand terms.
  8. List all your products and services. If your site has a massive number of products consider stepping back a level or two and listing the categories and subcategories.
  9. Step back for a moment and imagine that you’re a potential customer. What would they type into a search engine if they were looking for something similar to your product or service. 
  10. Even better, ask your actual customers, family, friends, etc what they would search for. You really need an outsiders perspective here so try to avoid asking people directly associated your company.
  11. Use your web analytics tool to see what terms people are already using to come to your site. To get a copy of your keyword report from Google Analytics, just email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
  12. Be sure to include competitive analysis! Here’s how to do some basic ‘competitor analysis’:
    1. Review your competitor’s websites and see what phrases they use for their products and services that compete with yours. This is CRUCIAL! Even better is if your competitor is the top ranking one in Google and has already invested heavily in their SEO. You can glean much from their SEO efforts simply by reviewing their website.
    2. Record what non-brand terms your competitors use for their business.
    3. Read any articles your competitors have written that are published on sites other than their own.
    4. Observe what the media has to say about your competitors.

And there you have it! Once you have the list of keywords from the steps above, you can feed them into Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool and see which have traffic, which don’t and if there are other similar keywords you should be targeting.

If you’re not sure how to optimize your content for search engines once you’ve got your list of keywords, just email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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How to Actually Get Use Out of Your Google Analytics Report

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 17 May 2012
in Google Analytics 0 Comments

First, why should you care about that monthly analytics report you receive? (And if you’re not receiving it, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let us know!)

Because your analytics report is the best tool you have at your disposal for getting more leads, sales or donations from your website.

Now that you’re all excited to start using your analytics reports to boost your sales and leads, here’s how to get started:

  1. Choose ONLY one or two ‘metrics’ (measures of performance) that you can improve and that will make your website generate more leads and sales. If your website currently receives less than 500 visits per month, I’d recommend choosing monthly visits as your first metric. You’ll need people coming to your website to get business from it!
  2. Choose your benchmark or goal. A metric without context is useless. Let’s say your chosen metric is monthly visits. Last month you received 120 visits. Your goal might be a 20% increase every month. So next month you plan to get 120 visits plus an additional 24 visits.  
  3. Decide what actions to take to ‘move the dial’. Where are these additional 24 visits going to come from? Fortunately you have lots of options. The ‘best’, more affordable way is to add new content to your website. If your content is ‘optimized’ for search engines (contains keywords used by your potential clients), then over time these new pages will naturally attract more search engine traffic. There’s also paid methods like pay-per-click ads, banner ads and more. And let’s not forget social media! Create a Facebook page for your business, spread word about your business through there and get your Facebook fans to come check out your website.
  4. Schedule your next steps to ‘move the dial’ and follow through. Will you be adding 3-4 pages or getting that new Facebook page going? It’s up to you what you try, just be sure to add performing this next step to your calendar and follow through.
  5. Set a note in your schedule to check your analytics next month.
  6. Evaluate your results and repeat the cycle next month starting from step 2. Be warned, many changes like adding a new page to your website will take a couple months to see results (increased traffic) from. Others, like using Facebook and twitter, may deliver results sooner. When you receive your next analytics report, look at your chosen ‘metric’ (in our case, we wanted to increase site visits by 20% (120 to 144) and see how well you did. Maybe you only increased visits by 10%. The important thing is to keep at it, adjust your strategy as results come in and don’t give up. Remember, that 10% increase in visits is 10% more than you had last month, and with every additional visitor comes the chance for increase your sales, leads or donations received from your website.
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Rising Star Rewards Program

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
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on Tuesday, 01 May 2012
in Announcements 0 Comments

Our goal at Website On-Demand, and my personal goal as its founder, is to make sure our Clients are as successful online as we can make them!

To that end, I'm happy to announce the start of our Rising Star Rewards Program.

Get Paid to Increase Traffic to Your Website

If you improve the amount of traffic your website receives, Website On-Demand will PAY YOU as our way of congratulating you on your success. By meeting certain requirements, Clients are eligibile to receive 50% off one month of Website On-Demand service.

For full details, please visit the Rising Star Rewards Program.

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Are You Taking Advantage of Facebook Ads Yet?

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 14 March 2012
in Conversion Optimization 0 Comments

For those of you looking for an affordable way to bring visitors to your website (this should be everyone!), the time to try out Facebook ads has come! Why is now such a great time to try out Facebook ads?

  1. CHEAP cost per click. For those of you experienced with Google Adwords, Facebook Ads run at least half to a third the cost of the equivalent ad on Google Adwords. Also, the minimum allowed daily budget
  2. SUPER targeted. Want to target females aged 30-35 with a bachelors degree and an interest in scuba diving? Facebook’s demographic targeting gives you unparalleled ability to specify exact who you want to see your ad.
  3. EASY to get started. Facebook ads are far easier to use than Google Adwords. No need to compile massive keyword lists with Facebook ads – just select who you want to see your ad and you’re good to go.

How to Get Started?

So I’ve convinced you – great! To get started, go to facebook.com/ads, if you have a Facebook account, you should be able to jump right into it from there after entering your payment information. Facebook has excellent resources for creating your ads, and so I refer you to those for instructions on creating your ads.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Facebook Campaign

  1. DO NOT just send visitors to your website’s homepage. Create a special page (called a landing page) on your website relevant to the Facebook ad you put out. For example, if your Facebook ad is about a special on Prada shoes, you would send them to a page on your website about Prada shoes showing your special promotion. Visitors WILL NOT spend time searching your website for whatever you may have mentioned in your Facebook ad.
  2. DO A-B testing on your Facebook ads. A-B testing means running two versions of the same ad but making one small change in one of them then seeing which ad works best. For example, your first ad might have a headline, “Special Deal on Shoes”. Your second ad might have a headline, “Shoes 80% Off Now”.  Facebook can then run both of these ads and you can see which has a higher clickthrough rate (% of visitors that click on the ad) as well as which sends buyers to your website that are more likely to buy.
  3. DO check the bounce rate (% of visitors to your landing page that leave within ten seconds) on your landing page. Are 80% of the people you’re spending your hard earned dollars to bring to your landing page leaving immediately after arrival? This is important info to know! If that is the case, you’ll want to make a change on your landing page to try to bring that bounce rate down.
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Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 14 March 2012
in Conversion Optimization 0 Comments

More and more of your website visitors will be coming from people using their mobile phones to surf the web.

Is your website mobile friendly?

Maya Pande over at the Pande Family Wellness Center (highly recommended for all your Chiropractic needs!),  pointed out a fantastic new service called Duda Mobile (dudamobile.com.) They have a FREE automated tool to create a mobile version of your website that should work great in smartphones like the iPhone and Android-based smartphones. Head on over to Duda Mobile’s website to see what your mobile friendly website would look like.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you’d like a mobile-friendly version of your website set up.

For Website On-Demand monthly plan clients, the process will take 30 minutes of your free monthly updating time. For non-monthly plan Clients or monthly plan Clients that have exhausted their free upgrade time for the month, the cost for us to set this up on your website is $36.

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10 Ways to Boost Conversion Rates (Get More Business) on Your Website

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
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on Friday, 24 February 2012
in Conversion Optimization 0 Comments

Is your website sending you as much business as possible?

Probably not. Building a website is not a one-time job. Despite our best efforts, the content and promotions we put on our website may not be what customers need and want.

Only by experimenting, putting new promotions and content on our website then measuring visitor response, can we truly get inside the heads of our customers and improve our websites.

10 Ways to Boost Conversion Rates on Your Website

To get you started thinking on ways to get more business from your website, here are 10 ideas you can experiment with. Put one on your website for a month or two and see if it makes a difference in business generated from your website. If it does, great! If it doesn’t, you can always move on to the next.

  1. Put your top sellers on your homepage. If most of your customers gravitate towards one or two offerings, you may also find that your website visitors will be more interested in them as well.
  2. Stoke visitor desire! Make your services and products look even more compelling to visitors. You can do this by: using larger product pictures, headline the results your product or service promises, use bullet lists and short sentences and make sure your content includes benefits of your product or service (and not just its features!)
  3. Add a limited time promotion. What better way to motivate potential customers to act then giving a deadline on a great deal!
  4. Use slash through pricing. Alright, some may think this is a bit tacky, but it’s been shown more than once that showing original and then discounted prices encourages buyers. Be warned though that if you’re pitching your service as a premium or boutique service, this sort of pricing scheme may clash with your upscale branding and image.
  5. Show competitor comparisons. This is great for two reasons. First, if you’re not even aware of what your competitors are offering, doing this forces you to get out there and do a bit of research on who your competitors are and how you stack up. Second, if you offer a superior value, this is your chance to highlight that to potential customers.
  6. Add a call-to-action on every page. Almost all of my Clients have probably heard me say this at least once or twice: make sure EVERY page on your website contains a call-to-action. A call to action may be something like a ‘Book Appointment’ button, a newsletter sign-up form or ‘Buy Now’ button. There’s virtually no downside this but lots of potential upside.
  7. Inspire trust. Testimonials, reviews, affiliations, privacy policies and more make your business seem more credible and real in the eyes of visitors. Make sure these appear at times when trust is most needed (e.g., right before they book an appointment, enter checkout or provide their credit card information.)
  8. Offer free shipping! If you can afford it, offer free shipping. It’s been proven to be the MOST effective change a company can make to increase conversion rates.
  9. Add a moneyback guarantee. Making doing business with you as risk-free as possible and you should notice a slight uptick in the percentage of business you’re able to close.
  10. Add a phone number to every page. Not everyone is big on email or contact forms. Make doing business with you as easy as possible for those that may not be very technically inclined – particularly important if your clientele may be older.

If you find these tips useful, I’d recommend you check out a book called Call-to-Action by Bryan Eisenberg. For those interesting in boosting conversion rates, it’s practically the Conversion Optimization Bible. You can pick it up from Amazon - only $10 for Kindle owners!

A Few Final Words of Advice

On measuring the impact of your changes:

  • Decide on how you’re going to be measuring change before starting the test. For example, will you be looking at conversion rates on your website, calls to your phone, etc.
  • Be sure to record business generated from the website before and after the change so you know if the change has had any effect.
  • Be aware that seasonal holidays like Christmas, Valentines Day, etc may throw off your measurements.

Also, for those of you keeners out there, the best way to do this sort of experimentation is with what’s called A-B split testing. This technique lets you run two different versions of a webpage simultaneously. Google offers free software called the, “Google Website Optimizer” that you can use to do this testing. We’re happy to help you setup these sorts of tests on your website, but because of the time involved we do charge our hourly rate to all Website On-Demand Clients for this service.

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Don’t Bore Your Visitors: How to Evaluate Your Website’s Homepage in 30 Seconds or Less

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 17 January 2012
in Conversion Optimization 0 Comments

Is your homepage badly in need of an update? Fire up your browser and head on over to your website. Here's five crucial questions to ask yourself (and friends) about your homepage to see if it's really working for you as hard as it could be.

  1. Does it grab visitors' attention in 8 seconds or less? Bored visitors probably won't stick around, and your competitors are just a Google search away!
  2. Does it stimulate interest and reinforce reader's confidence that they're in the right place? What's worse than a boring website? An irrelevant one! If you sell widgets, make sure your homepage not only states clearly that you make widgets but why your widgets are better that your competitors. (Or why your services are better than your competitors')
  3. Does it inspire the desire to take the action or clicking deeper towards a purchase? If you were your potential customer, would you be persuaded to do business with you based on your homepage content?
  4. Is how they take action easy and obvious? Step 6 feet away from your monitor and look at the screen. Is it obvious where you want your visitors to click next? If not, you need a more obvious "call to action".
  5. After they've clicked, does the next page give them satisfaction by providing exactly what they wanted how they wanted? Did you hammer home why your services or products are better than your competitors? Did you provide testimonials, assurances or guarantees to make doing business with you as risk free and comfortable as possible?

And there you have it! Critical website analysis in 30 seconds or less! I'd encourage you though to spend at least a few minutes on this task. Most of your website visitors probably enter your website through your homepage. Spending a little extra time to make sure it's doing its job of impressing your visitors can go a long way to getting more business from your website.

Is Your Website Content Up to Date?

Why wait till Spring before cleaning up your website? With a new year upon us, now is the perfect time to review your website and make sure all the information is up to date and that your content reflects any changes you may have made to your business in 2011.

Also, for Website On-Denand Clients, what better way to use up your 30 to 60 minutes of free website updating time for January that your Website On-Demand plan now comes with!

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Improving Your Website's Ranking for Local Search Results (Google Maps)

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
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on Tuesday, 22 November 2011
in Google Maps 0 Comments

Many Clients have expressed interest in improving their rankings in the local results listing that often appears at the top of search results. An earlier post I wrote covered adding your website to the local results listing, and so this post will hopefully shed some light on improving your rankings. The things you can do break down into a couple different categories:

  • Completing your Google Local Business Centre profile
  • Getting your website listed and mentioned on other websites and directories

 

Completing Your Google Local Business Centre Profile

If you haven't already done so, the first step is to claim your website in Google's local business centre and complete the verification process. You'll then want to fill in as much of your profile as possible including adding photos/videos, selecting the appropriate categories, using keyword-rich description text and more. Be sure to ask your Clients to review your business under your local business centre listing too!

1-800 numbers are great, but your local business centre listing is not the place for them. It's important to use a phone number with a local area code in your local business centre listing as this is one of the factors Google checks. Also, ensure that your phone number on your profile matches your phone number on your website. If you have a Yellowpages listing, it should match there too!

To summarize the steps to completing your profile:

  • Claim, verify and update your profile
  • Upload photos and videos to your profile
  • Request that your Clients complete reviews of your business under your listing

 

Getting Your Website Listed and Mentioned on Other Websites and Directories

Google will also comb through the web and keep track of mentions of your business on other websites and directories. These mentions will be listed under your local business listing. The more mentions in respectable places (spam sites won't count for much!) your business receives, the better your ranking will likely be.

Where are these places you might ask? Carrie Hill at SearchEngineLand.com has a great article on them and so I direct you to her article at http://searchengineland.com/secret-sauce-leverage-outside-listings-to-help-local-rankings-41905 for more detail. A few of the places she mentioned include:

  • Flickr Galleries
  • Youtube Channel
  • BOTW.org
  • Review Sites
  • Craigs List
  • User Content

 

I hope this is helpful in your ascent up the rankings. If you have any questions about improving your website's ranking in search engines, please feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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7 Easy, Worthwhile Places to Get “Back Links” to Your Website

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
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on Monday, 14 November 2011
in Link Building 0 Comments

If there's one question I get more than any other from new Clients, it's this one: "Will my new website be search engine-optimized?"

Fifteen years ago, a ‘search engine-optimized' website may have been enough to get you ranking well on search engines. Now-a-days though, a ‘search engine-optimized' website is only your ticket to the game. It is the bare minimum you can and should do to rank well in search engines.

Informal studies have been done on search engines and it's believed that only 20% of your ranking is determined by how well your website is optimized. This means including keywords and using them in the right places, making sure your URLs are search-engine-friendly, etc only account for 20% of your ranking!

What makes up the other 80%? You guessed it! Backlinking!

Backlinking is the process of getting links from relevant, high-quality websites back to your website. Once you've finished some basic, search engine optimization of your website's content, backlinking is the best investment of your time and money if improving your website's ranking in Google is your goal.

Let's say you invest 10 hours of your time in excruciating detail making sure your homepage is perfectly optimized. Your competitor spends only 2 hours doing the most basic SEO but also spends a couple hours getting one or two backlinks. Who's site will rank higher? Your competitor's hands-down!

Without further ado, here's 7 easy, free places to get decent backlinks to your website.

  • WordPress
  • Tumblr
  • Live Journal
  • Blogger
  • TypePad
  • Squidoo
  • HubPages

The above are all very popular FREE blogging websites. Why list there? The answer is bit technical, but when you create a new blog on those websites, it has a "Page Rank" of 0 (the lowest) but it's also under the wordpress.com/tumblr.com domains which have Page Ranks of 8 or 9 (the highest.)

Now here's the backlinking process and what you need to do:

  • Write an article relevant to your field, containing your keywords. At the top and bottom of your article, be sure to include a link back to your website. Also, make sure that link contains your keywords in the text. For example, in your link, don't say something bland and general like, "Click here to visit our site". Instead, say something inclusive of your keywords like, "Toronto website design services offered here."
  • Create 7 different versions of the article above making sure to change titles, link text, most of the body text, etc. You can use a tool like http://thebestspinner.com/ or http://www.jetspinner.com/ (the latter has a free version) to create these new versions or you can do it manually. An even better approach of course is to use 7 completely different articles if you happen to have some unused articles lying around.
  • Go to each of the seven websites listed above
  • Sign up with each and create your free blog
  • Paste a different version of the article in each of the 7 blogs.
  • You're done!

Be sure to check your ranking in search engines before and then a month after trying this to so you can track your improvement in ranking.

Good luck!

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Top 10 Tips for an Effective Email Campaign

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
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on Friday, 14 October 2011
in Email Marketing 0 Comments

True, this article isn’t about websites. But I’ve read a few books on email campaigns recently, and I know that more than a few of you have ongoing email campaigns, so hopefully you’ll find the tips useful.

Let’s assume you have an email list of old prospects sitting around. Or perhaps you have a list of previous customers that haven’t done business with you in a while. Why not begin converting those prospects and inactive customers into new and active customers? A targeted email campaign is a great way to create business seemingly out of thin air (although really what you’re doing is monetizing your past efforts in marketing and sales.)

Below are the top tips from my research that you can use to make your next email campaign more effective. While mostly targeting towards service-based businesses, many of the tips below apply to product-based businesses as well.

  1. Don’t overuse the words free, bonus, amazing, etc. These commonly appear in spam emails and may cause your email to wind up in your recipients spam folder.
  2. In your email, get to the benefits part quickly.
  3. Timing is everything with email campaign. Don’t send your email campaign on weekends, Mondays and Fridays. Also, try to avoid sending your emails first thing in the morning. People are in a rush first thing in the morning, and emails not immediately relevant to their work are likely to be deleted. Tuesdays through Thursdays in the late morning and early afternoon are better times to send your email campaigns. Most email campaign software allows you to schedule specific times for sending out your email campaign.
  4. Write your emails to target your customers’ “hot buttons”. These are challenges that are of the utmost importance to your customers. Your email should make your customers aware of things that are preventing them from getting the results they’re looking for, and, of course, should pose your products and services as part of that solution.
  5. Keep your paragraphs short (2 to 3 sentences) and include as few as possible.
  6. Personalize the subject line – the more specific, personal and relevant, the better.
  7. Ensure that the email appears to be sent from you rather than some generic address like This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Nobody really wants to read an email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , particularly if they may not remember the name of your company.
  8. Use font styling like bold and italics often to keep the text visually interesting. Do not mix font faces and font sizes.
  9. Be clear about next steps. There should be no confusion (it should be blatantly obvious) what you want the prospect to do next.
  10. Include a supplementary offer in your email in case your main “next step” is considered too daunting. Examples of a supplementary next step include signing up for email updates on your blog, downloading a report, visiting your Facebook group, etc.
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How to Read Your Google Analytics Website Traffic Report

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
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on Tuesday, 05 July 2011
in Google Analytics 0 Comments

If you're like 99% of business owners out there, your Google Analytics traffic reports may be a little hard to understand. Fortunately, there's 4 simple questions you can use to begin understanding your Google Analytics website traffic reports and gathering insights from them.

Here are the questions to ask after you receive your traffic report:

 

1. How many visitors are coming to your website?

a. Do you have a problem attracting traffic to your website? (feel free to ask us for help!)

b. Also, look for long term trends (is traffic going up?) and seasonality (is there a time of year when traffic is highest? lowest? Why?)

 

 

2. Where are your visitors are coming from?

a. What referring websites are sending you traffic? (e.g., is all the time you're investing in Facebook paying off with traffic to your website?)

b. What keywords are (and are not) sending you traffic from search engines? (getting traffic to your website from industry-related keywords is ideal - not just your business name)

 

 

3. What do you want your visitors to do on your website?

a. What is the goal of your website? It's raison-de-existent. Do you want people to fill out your contact form, sign-up for your newsletter, make a purchase, etc? Deciding your website's goal is critical as you can't "improve" your website until you know what exactly it should be doing for you.

 

 

4. What are your visitors actually doing on your website?

a. Look at your top content and entry pages. If you want people to complete your contact form, are visitors even getting to your contact form page? If not, what can you do to change that? If they get to the contact form page, are they staying on the page or are they "bouncing"? Are they being encouraged enough to complete the contact form?

 

Have questions? Need some help looking at your analytics report or need more detailed information from your analytics report? Feel free to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Post Visit Feedback: Why Did Your Visitors Leave Your Site?

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Friday, 27 May 2011
in Conversion Optimization 0 Comments

Get Post-Visit Feedback on Your Website with 4QA new (and free!) online tool is available that invites visitors to complete a quick, post-visit survey on their experience with your website and whether they found what they were looking for.

If you haven't considered adding a survey to your website in the past, I would recommend considering it now.

You should be receiving monthly analytics reports about your website which is a great starting point. However, your analytics reports can only tell you that someone came to your website. Adding in a post-visit survey is a great way to find out "why" someone came to your website. (And importantly, whether your site provided them with what they were looking for.)

To Get Started

The tool is called 4Q, and you can sign-up for it at http ://www.4qsurvey.com/ On the registration page, be sure to select 4Q Free under the product type!

Once you've signed-up and gone through all the steps of creating your survey, it will provide you with code to add to your website. Simply email that code to us and we'll help you add it to your website. (This is a free service for all Website On-Demand monthly plan clients. If you're not currently a monthly plan client, we're happy to help you with this as well, however there's a $40 installation charge.)

In Other News

We're hard at work working on the new Website On-Demand website. I haven't written much recently, but once the new website and blog are up you can count on a steady stream of news on the latest and greatest tools and strategies you can use to get the most from your Website On-Demand website!

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Update Your Content – Regularly Make Blog Posts About Relevant Topics

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 17 October 2010
in Search Engine Optimization 0 Comments

Once your website is live on the internet it can seem like your work is done – your content is out there and people will start visiting your site – all you need to do is sit back and watch. However instead of relishing in the preliminary traffic what you should be doing is preparing content for the future.

You must ask yourself what will make those first visitors come back a second time, or spread the word about your wonderful website? The answer is content – let your visitors know that you will be updating the website on a regular basis and follow through with that promise. You don’t have to be a professional writer for people to enjoy reading your website, just make sure to be mindful of the fundamentals of writing on the web.

  1. Have your message in mind. Always write with a goal, whether it’s to get your visitors to buy from your online store or to contact you for a booking, your content should tell your visitors what you expect them to do next, either explicitly or implicitly.
  2. Speak to your audience. Your website is most likely not trying to appeal to each and every person on the planet – figure out what type of person you’re trying to appeal to and choose your topics, words, and tone of voice based on what they’d expect.
  3. Don’t lose momentum. Keep your readers reading by leading their eyes to the next section and maintaining their interest. Big blocks of text tend to scare readers away so you should divide your content with eye-catching subheadings, by using short and to-the-point lists, and by emphasizing important words using bolding or colored text.
  4. Brush up on the basics (or use grammar and spelling checking). The quickest way to lose professionalism, credibility, and to distract your readers is for them to see glaring mistakes. Reread your content multiple times before publishing it to make sure you spot errors before your readers do.
  5. Choose your topics wisely and stay focused. If you’re going to be updating your site on a regular basis you don’t have to squeeze all of your thoughts into one article. Choose topics that your visitors will care about and keep on-topic during that post. If your thoughts stray to a tangent save it for later and turn it into a whole new post.
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Why Your Visitors May Not Be Calling & How to Fix It

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 10 August 2010
in Conversion Optimization 0 Comments

The Importance of a Good Call to Action

To be effective, your website must clearly state what action you want your visitors to take, whether it's buying a product in your online store, booking an appointment using your online appointment calendar, or something else which will turn them from viewers into customers. Your website needs to emphasize your goal and convince visitors to take your desired action.

Focus on Only One or Two Actions

In some cases you may have many actions that you want a user to take, but be cautious to not overwhelm your visitors - identify one or two important and distinct actions and make them the focus. The rest can simply be referenced in your content, for those users who take the time to read your site in more depth (a.k.a. the minority.) For the users who are landing on your site for the first time and are glancing around the page, be direct and clarify how each action is unique and which should be taken under what conditions. You essentially need to hold the user's hand and guide them around your site.

Selling Your Action

How do you sell your action to visitors and make them want to take it? Different techniques are appropriate depending on the type of action you're asking visitors to take. If your goal is to have users buy a product or service you should sell it to them directly - identify a problem and tell the user how your product or service fixes it and the benefits they will reap. Sometimes an incentive may be necessary to entice users into taking an action - a free entry into a gift draw, for example, or a t-shirt for donating a certain amount of money to your cause.

Making Your Button Juicy & Clickable

Once you have identified your call to action the next important step is to construct the visual element, whether it is a stylized button or a simple box of text. Four attributes to decide upon are size, position, color, and text. These attributes must all work together to communicate the action to the user.

  1. Size - bigger is not always better, but in this case it usually is. Since you will only have a small number of actions, and since they're the most important aspect for your users to notice, it's ok for them to be the biggest things on the page. Having a large area for the user to click on also ensures that they won't get frustrated when they're ready to follow your action and click on the link.
  2. Position - lead your visitor's eye to the link on which they should click and let it stand apart from the text by leaving plenty of white space around it. This ensures that the user will not only see the clickable area clearly but won't mistakenly click on an adjacent link.
  3. Color - create a contrast between your site's regular color scheme and your call to action links. If most of your site is blue, use a red button - this makes it stand out from the rest of the page.
  4. Text - the one attribute of a call to action element that ties the rest together is the actual text that the user will be reading. A prominent button is good, but the user will be lost without knowing exactly what happens when it's clicked upon. Surround the link with a large sentence or two about why they should be clicking, then have a couple of action words on the button itself, using urgent language, to convey what it does. "Donate Now", "Book Online", "Buy Now - Sale ends in September" are all examples of good call to action button text.

Finding a Home for Your Call to Action

Finally, once your well-thought-out call to action is ready to go, you should decide on what pages of your site are appropriate for it to appear. In most cases the answer is every page. You will usually have a sidebar next to the main content area where it can exist in almost the same spot on each page, reminding the user about the action while browsing your site and ensuring that they won't have to hunt for the button once they are ready to click.

A call to action is an important (perhaps the most important) aspect of your website and should be given careful thought. When a clear call to action is combined with techniques to bring visitors to your, it can make a significant difference in the amount of sales your website generated.

Want more tips? Check out: http://boagworld.com/design/10-techniques-for-an-effective-call-to-action

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Increase Your Sales & Leads By Using the Right Buttons

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Friday, 19 December 2008
in Conversion Optimization 0 Comments

What's a Call to Action button?

If there's one question I ask my Clients over and over again it would be this: what action do you need your visitors to take on your website in order for you to make money? These actions include:

  • buying something
  • signing up for a newsletter
  • becoming a member
  • making a donation
  • and lots more.

How do visitors take those actions on your website? By clicking your Call to Action buttons - whether it be a "Buy Now" button or "Subscribe" button doesn't matter.

Several factors influence whether your visitors will act when you tell them to. These factors include your sales copy, the target audience, the nature and quality of your offer, visitors' perceptions of the economy and how clickable your Call to Action buttons are. A very simple way you can boost conversion (percentage of your visitors that take action) on your website is to make sure you're large, colorful, contrasting buttons.

What makes a good button you ask?

Here's a few features of a good button:

  • Color: should be bright and contrasting. For example, on an orange website you could use green buttons - avoid buttons in colors adjacent to orange on the color wheel like yellow or red.
  • Location: visitors shouldn't need to scroll to find your Buy Now button. You need to make it easy for your visitors. Put the button in an obvious location on your page.
  • Language: use action verbs like Buy Now, Signup, Download, Subscribe, etc. In the book Call to Action by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, they also mention the need to reduce friction and increase urgency. For example, if a visitor is considered about privacy then telling that visitor you won't share their contact information can reduce friction. Similarly, reminding visitors near a Buy Now button that you have an amazing moneyback guarantee policy can reduce friction too. Limited time offers are a great way to increase urgency.
  • Size does matter: the larger the button, the easier it is to see and click. You want your visitors to click it right?
  • Margins: don't crowd the most important graphic on your website. Give your Call to Action button some room, and let it do its job.

Call to action button showcase

Check out some great buttons at leemunroe.com. Scroll down to the "Showcase of good examples of Call to Action buttons".

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Innovative Ways to Get Links to Your Site Without Paying

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 17 December 2008
in Link Building 0 Comments

Once your website is optimized for your keywords, getting links from relevant, high-ranking, quality websites is the next step in dominating search results.

Why's that you may ask? Because the more websites that link to your website, the more credible search engines assume your website must be. Of course, the websites that link to your website have to themselves be credible!

I was watching the clip below over at Web Marketing Today. In it, Aaron Wall from SEO Book (an excellent resources website containing lots of useful SEO tools) explains seven ways you can get people to link to your website.

Here's the seven ways he mentioned in the clip:

  1. Offer discounts or coupons as benefits to non-profits.
  2. Write original, useful content in a blog on your domain.
  3. Redirect affiliate links using 301 redirects.
  4. Have a contest where people vote on something they're passionate about.
  5. Use offline networking opportunities.
  6. Write guest columns or articles.
  7. Attract journalists who may cite you on a topic.

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Step by Step: Getting Your Business Listed on Google Maps

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 13 December 2008
in Google Maps 0 Comments

If you've done a search on Google for a particular service in Toronto, you may have "Local Business Results" at the top of the search results:

Google Maps at the top of a Google search listing

Wouldn't it be nice if your business was listed on here to? (for the appropriate search of course)

Not only is getting your business listed on Google's Local Business Center free, but the "Local Business Results" appear above the normal search listing! There is one slight potential drawback: the map centers in the center of a city. Businesses located on the edges of a city may get reduced exposure.

Sound good? Simply follow the steps below to list your business:

Step 1: Go to Google's Local Business Center website and login or create an account as necessary. After you're logged in, click the button labeled “Add New Business”.

Google Maps login screen

Note: if you don't see the “Add new business” button, click the link “Add new listing”. You'll see "Add new listing" rather than "Add new business" if you've already created a Google Local Business Center account in the past with your email address.

Add New Listing button on Google Maps

Step 2: Enter your business's basic information.

Google Maps company information form

You'll notice once you've added your address the map on the right will zoom to your location. Click next when you're ready to proceed.

Google Maps company information form zooming in on business location in the right side map

Step 3 (Optional): If your listing already exists, you may see the screen listed below. Click “Claim Listing”. This will allow you to change the listing details.

Screen shown if a business matching the information you entered already exists on Google Maps

You may now edit your listing information or suspend the listing.

Edit or suspend the existing business listing on Google Maps

Step 4: Enter detailed information about your business including your businesses category, services or products offered (using either the Categories or Additional Details areas), hours of operation, accepted payment methods, your logo under the Photos section and more. You may also associate a video with your listing if you've uploaded a video about your business to Youtube.

Google Maps complete company information form

Step 5:After submitting your business information, Google will now ask you to verify your listing. You have three options:

  • phone
  • sms
  • mail (snail mail)

I find the phone option to be the easiest and most convenient.

Google Maps at the top of a Google search listing

Step 6: Using the phone option, Google will call you using an automated message service. You have the option of being called now or in five minutes. Click whatever option suits you. Google will then display a PIN (personal identification number) on screen. You will be asked to enter that PIN on your phone's touchtone pad when Google calls. If you selected “Call Me Now”, you may expect to be called very promptly – usually within 10 seconds. Answer the phone, push 1 and then enter your PIN followed by the pound sign (#).

Google Maps - call now or call later to verify your listing

Step 7: Congratulations! Upon successful completion of the call, your business should be listed on Google Maps within 1 business day.

Success! Listing was successful and should be up within 1 business day.
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Tips for Increasing Your Search Engine Ranking

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 11 December 2008
in Search Engine Optimization 0 Comments

Want to have an unending, high-volume stream of traffic coming to your website? Simply be first on a Google search of a popular keyword! I kid of course - being first on Google for a popular keyword is not an easy task. Here's some tips to help you get there:

  1. While not as important as it once was, ensuring your website has appropriate meta tags is still worthwhile. Identifying no more than 7-10 keywords per page in the keyword meta tag is preferable to letting the search engines decide what keywords are important for your page. Also, the description meta tag will allow you to control what piece of text search engines display from your website on search listings.
  2. For each page of your website, your keywords should make up 2-3% of the words. If they do not then search engines assume your pages are not related to your keywords - this is bad!
  3. Research your keywords using tools such as Google's Keyword Research Tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal) or WordTracker (available at SEOBook's website - http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/). There's little to gain by optimizing your website for a next-to-no volume keyword. Conversely, discovering a high-volume keyword related to your industry (and that your potential clients use) that your competitors aren't optimizing for can be a great advantage!
  4. Link building (putting links to your website throughout the web) is the most important factor that affects your search engine ranking. This is something we'll need to work on with your website once we clarify the keywords you'll be optimizing your site for.
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3 Tips for Converting Visitors into Customers

Posted by Chris Norton
Chris Norton
Chris Norton is the founder and owner of Website On-Demand. He is happiest when his Clients tell him about all...
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 11 November 2008
in Conversion Optimization 0 Comments

Are you waiting for your website visitors to contact you? Stop waiting and ask that they contact you! Deciding in advance what you want your website visitors to do on every page and then persuading them to do so should happen for each page of your website! Here's a few tips to help you along:

  1. Don't be afraid to use your website to tell your visitors what you want them to do! Having visitors see your website and contact you is the primary purpose of your website - telling them to do so is essential.
  2. Make it easy for your website visitors to contact you - increase the size of your phone number in the top left corner, and tell them to call you today/now/immediately in order to have a warm, caring person talk to them like a human being. I apologize for the long sentence.
  3. Remove or reduce the amount of homepage devoted to your company/team/bio information. It's true that people do business with people, but the most important person on your website is the visitor and they tend to read about solutions to their problems. Visitors like to see content that talks about them and their problems. Devote as much space as possible on your homepage to the visitor's potential problems/concerns/needs, convince them that your services are the best solution and then make it easy for them to contact you.

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