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Small Business Internet Marketing Blog

overwhelming filing cabinet - is this your website?Few website features are as popular as rotating banners. And few are so effective at killing your online lead generation.

Rotating banners are also known as “image carousels” or “sliders”. They allow you to show multiple banner messages to your website visitors by presenting them one at a time. They usually rotate automatically at fixed time intervals. Sometimes a visitor can control the rotation with banner navigation.

Rotating banners are popular because they allow you to reduce clutter and make every banner large and beautiful.

So what’s the problem?

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OVERWHELMED visitors = CONFUSED visitors = LOST visitors!

This is a common website lead generation problem. And it’s hard for you, the business owner, to fix by yourself.

Why? Because you’re in love with your website content. All of it. And you want all your website visitors to read it from beginning to end and love it, too.

But they never will.

Imagine that a new prospect visits your office in person, wanting to learn what you could do for them. You greet them with:

“Welcome! Great to have you here. See that filing cabinet over there? It has all the information you’d ever want to know about us. Please look through it all and let us know if you have any questions!”

Prevent Mobilegeddon with Google AdWordsGood prospects are busy people. They have other things to do with their lives. They are wisely greedy with their time. They are impatient. And online, they are 10 times more impatient.

Visitors will not take the time to rummage through your filing cabinet of a website!

So how do you fix a filing cabinet website? How do you avoid overwhelming, confusing and losing your website visitors?

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Chicken Little, the sky is falling!

In case you missed it, Google recently changed its search algorithm to favor websites that have mobile-friendly pages. This means that mobile-friendly web pages will appear higher in search results when a user performs a search on a mobile device. (Searches on desktop devices are not affected.)

Google’s reason for this is simple: There are now more daily searches performed on mobile devices than on desktop devices. That trend will only continue. And it’s Google’s job to deliver the best possible search results for the majority of its users.

But this announcement led to online hysteria, both real and hyped. New lingo sprang up to convey the magnitude of this ‘Mobilegeddon’ and ‘Mobileocalypse’.

Google AdWords landing page exampleShould you panic? It depends…

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A “landing page” is the first page that a new visitor to your website experiences. A “Google AdWords landing page” is the first page that you send new visitors to when they click on your Google PPC ad.

You need a visitor’s first experience with your business to be fantastic. You want an ideal prospect to immediately understand why your business offer is perfect for him. You want him to easily see how he can take the next step.

That’s challenging enough to accomplish in a landing page. The folks over at InstaPage recently did a nice job of breaking down the basic elements into a helpful infographic. You may want to check out.

But Google makes it even harder. If you flaunt their AdWords rules, Google will not approve your ads to show. Then potential prospects will never see your otherwise wonderful landing page at all. Game over. But that’s not all…

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Each January I deliver marketing seminars at MIT, my alma mater. The attendees are undergrads, grads, business school students, alumni, teachers and other members of the MIT community.

This year, together with my podcast partner Kenny Goodman, we crafted a very special all-new seminar to address the burning marketing questions that we hear over and over again from new company founders.

These aren’t scholarly questions that get theoretically analyzed in MIT textbooks. These are practical nuts and bolts questions about how to get real marketing to really work – questions that can only be answered from experience. I’ve mentored over 50 MIT startups, and Kenny, who has built and sold 3 startups, has experience in spades.

So we put together a straight-to-the-point strategic + tactical 90-minute seminar:

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I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. No, I’m not a humbug — I just don’t think that successful goals are built upon an arbitrary calendar date.

But I do set goals. Lots of ’em. 5-year goals, yearly goals, monthly goals… which then break down into weekly and daily tasks. This goal process is based on a truly spectacular book that I gush about regularly: “The One Thing” by Gary Keller.

And so I thought I had this whole goal thing figured out… until I read an article this month by James Clear over at Entrepreneur magazine that made me realize that my focus on goals has been misplaced:

Say what??? How could there be a “this” that is more important than goals? But there is. There really is. The magic “this” is…

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MIT startup marketing don't focus on marketing goals
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