Every week I'm asked to look at business Web sites and tell the owners why they're not getting the results they want.

Some of these sites are straightforward brochures, others are e-commerce catalogs, and some are those direct-mail-style pitches reminiscent of old mail-order magazine subscription schemes. Some have incorporated do-it-yourself audio and video, and some even have such media professionally produced... but, still, the results stink. Why?

'The Close' Is Always Found in 'The Why'

Certainly part of the problem stems from a very narrow definition of what a Web site is: by casting your site in terms of a brochure, catalog, e-commerce-site, blog, or portal, you are falling into the trap of concentrating on "The What" rather than "The Why."

This focus on "The What" is exacerbated by some search engine optimization techniques intended to drive traffic rather than to brand product, sell services, or convert traffic into customers. Traffic is important, but converting that traffic into paying customers is more important. Even the best and brightest search engine optimizers will tell you that their job is to deliver traffic, not orders—closing the deal is your job, and anybody who tells you that closing can be done by means of some automatic never-touched-by-human-hands method is just plain nuts.

What you want to be careful of is search-engine tactics and second-rate media that actually get in the way of effectively delivering your marketing message—of telling your business story, creating a memorable brand image, and above all generating profitable business clients.

Web Video Is a Presentation-Marketing Strategy

If you pay any attention to what's going on, you must be aware of the shift in Web thinking and the acceptance of Web video as a fundamental Web-marketing tool. But like most things, there is a right way and a whole bunch of wrong ways to do it.

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Jerry Bader is senior partner in MRPwebmedia (www.mrpwebmedia.com), a website-design firm that specializes in Web audio and video. Contact him via info@mrpwebmedia.com or (905) 764-1246.