3 Tips to Make a Small-Business Website a Winner
2. A Value-Added Extra
Running her one-woman freelance business, copywriter Lisa Taylor was looking for a way to set herself apart from the pack. Her bright idea? The Cover Letter Customizer, an interactive site that allows users to input personal information and the specifics of their job hunt, then translates those details into polished prose. "I wanted to do something that would showcase my love of this medium, and geeky things like user experience, in my own voice," Taylor says. "Like everyone, I've written my fair share of regular old cover letters. As they are the underdogs of self-promotion, I thought it would be great to give them some time in the sun."
The site not only garnered Taylor a Webby Awards nomination, it has been an effective marketing vehicle for her writing business. "It has been a great lead generator," she says. "My analytics have shown parallel traffic increases between it and my blog/portfolio site, and it has also legitimized my voice and skill set in a way a boilerplate portfolio site never could. The whole experience has been a reminder of what valuable tool the web can be to brands of all sizes, including a brand of one!"
The strategy behind the Cover Letter Customizer is one any business can use. Produce a stand-alone site that fills a need or solves a problem in a clever, easy-to-use way, and you can draw attention to the rest of your business. And if that stand-alone site is nominated for an award, all the better.3. Humor Helps The pharmaceutical company Help Remedies takes an eco-friendly approach to consumer health, using biodegradable packaging and minimal dyes. But its main differentiator from standard drugstore brands is design and attitude, selling acetaminophen tablets under the brand name "Help: I Have a Headache" and bandages as "Help: I Cut Myself." The company's website has the same look as its packaging, with lots of white space and text in bright primary colors. But what gives it an added edge are the humorous, interactive links scattered amid the product descriptions. Click on "Help: I am in a bad mood," and a text box appears with the words, "Tell me about it". Start typing, and all the letters turn into happy-face emoticons. (To find out the resolution to problems including "Help: I've never been kissed" or "Help: I don't know what soda to drink," you'll have to visit the site yourself.)
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV