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My name's Joel Kelly and I live in Halifax, NS.

I'm a 20something guy doing digital and social media strategy for a Halifax-based marketing agency.

I'm a vegan nerd and marketing asshole.

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Contact me about whatever (like, say, your marketing questions) at

Monday, November 10, 2008

Guest Cross-Post: A small website can have a big impact

Cross post by Ted from's "The Talk".

A simple, small business website can have big impact

If you are selling to customers under 35 you have to have a web presence. Those customers are at home online and they are difficult to reach with traditional media. If they know about you they will be looking for you on the web.

A lot of small business owners tell me the internet consumes too much time and expense for little or no return. Many of them describe their website as little more than an online brochure. They complain that additions or changes are a hassle. They need a tech person. It's not cost effective.

To that I say get rid of the website. You can still be on the web - but without the hassle. Switch to one of the free content platforms like or They are simple enough for a child to use and provide everything you have in a website without the need for tech help or other charges. They offer plenty of customizable design templates, additions and changes can be made in an instant, and you can keep your own domain name.

An online presence allows you to efficiently target different audiences for your products and services and sell far beyond your local market.

Here are 7 simple ideas to use the web with impact and utility:

1. Interact with your customers. They are not passive online. You are an expert at something. Convey that knowledge. Engage them in a conversation. Tell them your news. Use your staff to do the same.

2. Use video. It's cheap and easy on the web. TV ads are expensive. On the web you can put ads for different products or services on your site and you're not restricted to 30 seconds.

3. Use your site for coupons. Put the coupons on your website but deliver them by email. Ask customers for their email addresses so you can contact them with new offers.

4. Cross sell to different customer segments. Put one product in front of one segment in one content area, another product in front of a different demo in another content area.

5 Test a product or offer for first-time buyers. With an offer only on the web you can be sure your ad is in the relevant content area and seen by the right demographic group.

6. Put POP! in your message with pictures. Illustrate complex products or applications with pictures - something that can be expensive in print or video. An online catalogue is easy to do.

7. Answers any and all a customer's questions. Use all text with simple pages and navigation to explain who you are, what products or services you sell, where you are and how and when to get to you. You could include a picture of your location and a map.

Ask yourself: what do I want to achieve when a customer arrives at my website? Then make that experience as simple and fast as possible.


Craig Moore said...

Great video props!

Love to here someone say, "Yes it is cost effective for video!".

Nice and simple.



Joel Kelly said...

Glad you liked the post, Craig. Big thanks to Ted from for writing it!

Anonymous said...

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