The Social Media Checklist for Small Businesses

Social Media Checklist for Small Businesses

Become a Connected Business

Who are your customers?
Who are they? What are their interests? Take a browse of some of the users following your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Connect with your customers

Use the platforms and apps that they are engaging with. Are your customers on Vine? Set up an account and think of creative video ideas within your staff to engage those users.

Keep it consistent

Make your brand message consistent across every platform. Make sure all staff updating your sites know the tone you want to put across.

Good website

A website is your groundwork. Make sure it’s responsive on all devices to improve customer experience.

Get online to manage projects

Systems that can allow better collaboration and management are great. Concept Board allows you to collaborate with others in real time in one ‘whiteboard’.

Get mobile

Use clouds to help your staff connect out and about. Dropbox can hold large files to open anywhere.

Monitor and manage how you’re doing

Keep an eye on analytics and use this information wisely. Try Google Analytics to look at your website statistics.

Know how your employees are doing

Set up a Facebook group for your staff to share project ideas, event news and jokes.

Keep an eye on the market

What’s new? Can you use it? Set up a Feedly account to get updates from technology blogs.

Stay alert

Don’t get complacent. Be innovative. Experimenting with new ideas is how you’re going to find what works best for you.

If you found this useful, take a look at our facebook page for more: facebook.com/zenwaveweb

25 Social Media Tasks the Pros NEVER Forget

If you’re taking the advice of this and most other internet marketing blogs and harnessing the power of social media this infographic from Top Dog Media is just for you.

It gives you 25 tasks you should be following to ensure social media success. I must admit there are a few on there I don’t do but I just about manage to scrape into the top bracket of social savviness.

Let me know your score!

25 Social Media Tasks the Pros Never Forget

12 Critical Elements Your Website Homepage Must Have

How effective is your website? Is it generating leads and enquiries? If not, why not?

Your homepage is probably the most visited page on your website so make sure it is optimised to its full potential to convert that traffic into leads.

How do I do that? I hear you ask. Well this handy infographic from HubSpot gives you 12 critical elements your homepage should have.

Homepage Critical Elements

So, January’s about Goal Setting

Goal Setting Success

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, but every now and then it’s great to take stock of everything. Most people I know don’t do them, or if they do, they often don’t last very long. Making personal plans and resolutions is cringe-worthy, complex stuff. It’s wrapped up with self-confidence, fear of failure and the adjustment between what you imagine and the cold hard reality of actually doing the work. It can be really tough if you don’t plan to succeed. My advice is to plan your planning. You need to have a plan and give yourself time to adjust. You need to give yourself the time, the resources, and the permission to succeed.

Tips & Tricks

Plan S.M.A.R.T – Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound. Personally, I find the key here is to be Specific. Don’t just tell yourself get fit. Make the goal specific, something like run 5k in under 20 minutes. When you have something specific, then you can work backwards from where you are now, what you need to do considering the time available, and then break down each step into defined tasks that will enable you to achieve your goal. So if your goal is running the 5k, find out how long you can run (or walk) and how long it takes you now. Think about the things that will make it achievable, so if you’ve never run before, make a commitment to start, even if starting is a phone call to your local gym.

Become a Google Calendar Ninja – David Allen (the guy behind Getting Thing’s Done (GTD) emphasises the importance of treating your calendar as a hard landscape; by only adding events that you are committed to. Everything else should live in a list. To put this another way, you shouldn’t add the things that you hope you will find the time for. This is fine, as far as it goes, and it’s certainly a rule I’ve lived by for a few years now. That said, what’s worked for me this year is to create several different calendars in Google in addition to my main calendar: a new one just for goals and one that schedules in my soft landscape. Google Calendar works allows me to colour-code and overlay events (it also syncs across all devices which is fantastic). In turn, this gives me the flexibility to schedule time around the fixed appointments that live in my main calendar. I’ve actively managed this flexible calendar and revised it after each day to reflect what actually happened. For instance, I’ve realised that I under-estimate the time I take to create website content. The answer? I’ve built in more time to complete this task, and then amended the time remaining for the rest of that day. I can’t tell you the pressure this has released for me. Instead of constantly feeling behind schedule, I adjusted my commitments and was right back on track. In fact, this led me to change my entire routine – to start the day focusing upon my priorities rather than reacting to new instructions from clients. I still meet all my commitments, but this way around I also work towards the longer term goals that are necessary for my business. Like I said before, don’t forget to plan your planning – I only became aware of these things because I had time to conduct my own weekly review of my progress against my goals.

Go Easy. Review & Refine if you’ve spent the time defining worthwhile goals, then you’re in this for the long haul. And of course, if your goal is worthwhile, then it’s probably going to be tough to achieve. If this sounds like a Catch-22 you’re right; so give yourself a break! So far this year, I’ve been following Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits and started getting up earlier (5am to be precise). This allows me a few hours every day to work on my more strategic goals. The thing is, it required a change in routine. I found in the first few weeks I’d crash about Thursday and need a lie-in. I was tired and pretty frustrated with myself. What really helped me was my weekly review. I looked at what had worked well and not so well. Instead of giving up the early starts, I adjusted my routine and tried again. The second time around, I achieved my goal to get up every weekday at 5am. They may seem like trivial small steps, but each one edges me towards the bigger goals. That’s what’s keeping me going.

My Story

A few year’s back I was working at BT and attended a fantastic training course that introduced me to Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which I loved. I had enjoyed a fair amount of professional success, but this really sparked an interest in personal productivity and aiming for consistent and reliable results. By this I mean, balancing everything from work life to personal life. Stephen Covey’s approach involved working out your life’s purpose and principles and then making conscious decisions in every aspect of your life in line with those principles. It works a little like a waterfall, with everything flowing down from the main principles. The trouble was that I had no idea what my life’s purpose was, and eventually gave up trying. I enjoyed many things, and knew I could improve in many others – like time management. Skip forward a few years and I found out about David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD). The GTD approach worked in the opposite way to Covey’s 7 Habits and gave me a new approach and techniques to help me. Instead of sitting down and working out what life meant, I could write down everything in my head, and every list, every promise and responsibility and deal with them one by one in a trusted system. It made complete sense to me: far better to remember to buy the milk than to determine what my relationship was to the universe. I stuck with it and my professional career took off. I got promoted. I completed a diploma in financial management and eventually I moved to a great new job at HSBC and onwards and upwards. But outside of the annual reviews that I did with my boss, I found that when it came to my own personal planning, I procrastinated. I had a full and busy life, and although it seems strange to see the words on the page, I could never quite find the time to dedicate to a full annual review…

That was until about 3 weeks ago. I was listening to a podcast whilst walking my dog over the Christmas break. It was by the guys at Fizzle (link below) and discussed how to plan for the year ahead by reviewing what had and hadn’t worked the year before. I realised that I had been avoiding any form of deliberate planning process. Anything beyond about 3 months felt artificial. Since I started Zenwave one of the elements that surprised me in the first few months was the overwhelming feeling of too many things to do. I was acutely aware that everything seemed to have an opportunity cost, and I didn’t have enough hours in the day. Yes, I had project plans and short-term financial targets, but switching between the roles of being CEO, IT, Sales and Operations required a constant focus that was really hard to achieve – especially in the heat and hustle of the average working day. What I’ve learned is that by having a plan to refer to that I’ve already locked down means that I can switch tasks without resorting to time-wasting where was I? thinking. It also means that I can maintain focus in the knowledge that I’m working on activities that are in line with my goals, both short and long term. Not only that, but I can maintain my motivation because I can make a direct connection between the task at hand to the big picture goals.

I’ve listed out some of the tips and tricks you can implement above, I hope they help.

Yearly Planning & Review Resources

Fizzle Show Podcast – How To Find Next Year’s Plan in Last Year’s Review (FS034)“What gets measured gets improved. Tips to improve next year’s plans by looking back first.” They’re funny, irreverent and they know their stuff. I’ve found Chase, Corbett and Caleb to be an invaluable resource for setting up my business, and to kick-start my creative workflow. The following links were recommended by the guys at Fizzle, so you know it’s good!

The Art of Non-Conformity » How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review“The idea is to create a road map for the year ahead – not a rigid daily schedule, but an overall outline of what matters to me and what I hope to achieve in the next year.”

Storyline Productivity Schedule“For years professionals have tried to manage their time, but what they really needed to manage was their mental energy.”

Free Planners – Productive Flourishing“After years of struggling with the planners designed for and by office workers, I figured out that it wasn’t me that was the problem: it was the design of the planners.”

How I Plan My Week (My 5-Step Process + free workbook download) | Live Your Legend“Below is the process I go through every Monday morning – I’ve made a couple modifications over the years.”

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Zenwave Web Design

Here’s wishing you a fantastic holiday…

I’m working on some exciting projects and updates for 2014. That includes new downloads and posts and the latest innovations that I’ll be featuring on the Zenwave blog. I can’t wait to share all this with you.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Whatever your plans I hope that you have a relaxing and enjoyable festive season and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Best wishes,

Mike

How Google’s Latest Update (Hummingbird) Affects the Future of Your Business

For the first time since 2001, Google has completely rewritten its search algorithm. Unlike Panda and Penguin, which were updates to the existing algorithm, Hummingbird is a complete replacement designed to be more precise and provide faster results.

It’s big news, and it has many businesses with an internet presence worrying about how it will affect them.

First, here’s the good news: the change has already been implemented – a month before the announcement was even made. That means if you didn’t notice a change in your site’s traffic already, you weren’t affected.

However, that doesn’t mean you should overlook the change. Understanding how Google ranks pages can help you to better position your business to be found. Let’s look at the main improvements in Hummingbird.

google hummingbird

Looking at User’s Intent, Not Just Keywords

Over the past few years, Google has been working to move away from using a purely keyword-based interpretation and towards making a “best guess” at what users are actually looking for. This goal is at the heart of the new algorithm, which in particular is designed to better handle complex queries. So it had more of an effect on more specific queries like “pizza places with outdoor seating in NJ” versus just “pizza”, which is part of the reason why most websites didn’t notice an effect.

In order to produce better results, Hummingbird takes into account the context of the search, such as the location, timeliness, platform, device, conversation cues, and hyper-local factors.

What that means for your business
: If people are searching for your type of business in your area or looking for a solution to a problem that your company helps to solve, Hummingbird is doing its best to make sure they end up on your website. This can mean more qualified leads on your site, rather than traffic that quickly bounces away.

But this is only true if your website delivers what people want. While keyword placement is still important, it’s increasingly important that the content is relevant. Metrics like “high bounce rates” and “time spent on page” are likely more important than the number of time a term appears on your site. Provide informative, engaging content that matches users’ expectations when arriving on the page.

Placing More Importance of Authorship and Authority

Since content is the focus of Hummingbird, it follows that authorship is also given more weight, particularly because this change came right after the new Google+ authorship attributions. The new system makes it easier for Google to connect content to who wrote it. And the authority you build along the way matters in terms of search rank.

What that means for your business: Who you are matters. Your Google+ profile should be up-to-date and include attributions for any content you’ve created. It’s also increasingly important to identify the unique selling point (USP) of your business and take advantage of it to set yourself apart. You want to become an authority in your area, not just another player. You want to provide the answers to the questions that people are asking. You want your content to be shared on social networks and noticed by other influencers.

This also means that short-term SEO strategies don’t cut it. You need a long-term strategy that’s focused on building your authority through quality content, relationships, and social interactions.

Focusing on the Mobile Experience

When Google announced the new algorithm, they showcased the change with screen caps of the mobile app – not the desktop site. Why? Because mobile users need results faster, and they also need those results to be relevant immediately. They tend to search for more complex things, often using questions like, “Where can I find a pizza place with outdoor seating?” through Siri or other voice searches.

What that means for your business: Mobile is the future. Google knows it, and so should you. Many brick and mortar businesses assume that the web isn’t something they need to focus on if they don’t sell products or services there. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s more important than ever to have a strong, relevant presence that makes it easy for people to locate you, particularly when they are on the go via a mobile phone.

In short, Hummingbird continues to emphasize Google’s focus on search where “Content is King.” The best way to improve your search rank is to identify your target audience and keep their needs in mind when developing your on-going web strategy.

Source: Social Media Today

Author: Shepard Morrow

Twitter Files for IPO: Hopes To Raise $1bn

Twitter NASDAQSource: BBC

In the filing, revealed on Thursday, the seven-year-old company said that it now has 218 million monthly users and that 500 million tweets are sent a day.

It made a loss of $69m in the first six months of 2013, on revenues of $254m. It will be the largest Silicon Valley stock offering since Facebook’s listing in 2012.

Analysts said that the offering was likely to get a good response.

“Social media is red hot,” said Internet analyst Lou Kerner. “Twitter is front and centre benefiting from market enthusiasm for all things social, and remarkably strong metrics.”

Financial details

The filing also revealed Twitter’s finances for the first time.

While the company has never made a profit, it has grown its revenue from just $28m in 2010 to $317m by the end of 2012.

Around 85% of Twitter’s revenue last year came from ad sales; the rest was from licensing its data.

The company takes in a significant portion of its ad revenue from mobile devices, an important metric often tracked by analysts.

As of 2013, over 65% of the company’s advertising revenue was generated from mobile devices. More than 75% of Twitter users accessed the site from their mobile phone during that same time period.

Some analysts said that the decision by the firm to raise capital indicated that it was keen on improving the way people enjoy content on its platform and how advertisers connect with its users.

“Users should be happy about this,” said Zachary Reiss-Davis, an analyst with Forrester.

“It looks like Twitter is looking at how to enrich the experience and it understands that to build a successful service, they have to create something people like and want to come back to and spend time on.”

Peter Esho from Sydney-based Invast Financial Services, added that Twitter’s ease to use had seen it increase its user base, making it an attractive option for advertisers.

“I think what Twitter has working in its favour is that it’s very easy to use: it doesn’t eat up too much bandwidth for the average user in places where broadband penetration is low,” he said.

The filing also revealed that two of the company’s co-founders, Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey, own significant stakes in Twitter, and could stand to take in significant sums from the company’s stock market listing.

Mr Williams owns 12% of shares in the company, while Mr Dorsey owns 4.9%.

Benchmark Capital’s Peter Fenton, an early investor in the company, is the second-biggest shareholder, with 6.7% of shares.

Advantage Nasdaq?

Twitter indicated three weeks earlier that it had filed for a public stock market offering.

However, under a new law passed by Congress in 2012, it did not have to reveal its financial documents because it had revenue of less than $1bn.

But by releasing the documents publicly, it gave an indication that it hopes to complete its stock sale soon.

The company plans to list under the stock symbol TWTR, but it did not reveal which stock exchange, the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange, it had chosen.

However, Mr Esho said that the listing was likely to be on the Nasdaq.

“I was to speculate, I think it would have to be Nasdaq,” he said. “That really is the exchange that has seen so many tech names come to the market.”

Goldman Sachs is the lead bank taking the company public, a coveted position that is often fought for amongst the nation’s biggest banks.

The other banks helping with the offering are Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities and CODE Advisors.

Source: BBC

17 Ways to Stand Out from Your Competitors

In a world where everyone is in search of the magic bullet that will increase both sales and website traffic, what if I told you that all you had to do to start immediately performing at a higher level is to differentiate yourself from your competition?

To paraphrase Seth Godin, there are a lot of brown cows out there – but nobody notices brown cows. If you want to get noticed, you have to be a purple cow. A purple cow in a field full of brown cows is sure to get noticed.

Seth Godin Purple Cow

Want to be a purple cow? Read on to learn how to stand out from your website’s competitors:

Know Yourself

The best brands in the world know themselves. They know their strengths, their weaknesses, their successes, their failures – and they know not only where they are now, but also where they’re going in the future. A successful brand is one with one foot planted firmly in the present that also knows where to place the other foot in the future. You only get to this point by taking a true audit of everything you do – right and wrong.

Know Your Competitors

What do they do right? Is there anything they’re offering that you aren’t? When thinking in terms of consumer experience, what can your competitors offer that you can’t?

Once you understand the reason behind why people aren’t choosing your company, it’s much easier to fix any holes in your website or product offerings that are holding you back.

Create a Differentiator or a USP

Great websites and great brands do things differently than others. They offer what’s called a “unique selling proposition” or USP.  Finding your USP requires serious introspection and keying on that one item or trait that separates you from your competition. If you don’t have one, create it.

Specialize

There is a time and place to be a jack-of-all trades, but the web isn’t one of them. In a place where consumers can find just about anything from the companies that specialize in these items, they aren’t going to want to purchase one item that you really excel and several others that are of a mediocre quality. Find what you’re good at it – additional offerings are just noise.

KISS

Keep it simple, stupid. There are two basic principles to the KISS method when it comes to online business…

The first is making your product or service easily understandable at a glance. If the average consumer needs to watch a three-minute video to understand what it is you do, you’re losing customers.

The second KISS method revolves around user experience. GoDaddy might make a ton of money selling domains and upgrades, but their checkout process – with all of its upgrades and add-on options – is maddening. KISS!

Invest in Your Brand

Too often, online business owners make good money, but fail to put enough of it back into their brands in order to grow. There are always things you can make better, whether it’s enhancing your product design, user experience or additional product offerings.

Identify Consumer Pain Points

The best products and services are those that make somebody’s life easier. No matter what niche you’re in, there are pain points that you must document in order to create the products or service offerings that will make your customer’s life easier. Solve the problem; cash the check.

Hire the Best People

At some point, your web-based business is going to need additional help. And when it comes to hiring, you need to ask yourself whether your candidates truly have the potential to bring needed value to your position. If not, they aren’t for you – the world doesn’t need more mediocre employees.

Retain Them

Keeping your employees happy has been shown to increase workplace productivity, as well as decrease stress and turnover. Once you find good employees, it’s always cheaper to retain them than to go through the process of finding others, training them, and hoping they stick around.

Make Bold Guarantees

“First page of Google in 90 Days!!!”

“100,000 Facebook Fans in 6 Months!!!”

These are the kinds of guarantees that get people’s attention. While you shouldn’t offer empty promises or guarantees you can’t meet, bold statements like these are undoubtedly powerful. Remember, though, if you can’t deliver, don’t say it.

Over Deliver

Following the above examples, what if, instead of just getting a single web page to the Top 10 results in Google, you got the client a second result in just 55 days? How about 150,000 Facebook fans in just five months? People never complain about someone who over-delivers on a promise. In fact, they may just share how happy they are with others.

Track Success and Failures

It’s easy to document the things you did well. What’s much harder – but much more important – is the ability to document your failures. Having a list of things you did wrong makes you more likely to learn from the mistake, rather than repeating it. In fact, mistakes are often the best thing that could happen to a business. Success doesn’t teach the way failure does.

Be Transparent

The days of private operation of a business are all but over. Let your customers take a peek behind the screen, and show them that you’re willing to share how you do things. Customers feel safer and more loyal to brands that they feel aren’t hiding anything.

Be Innovative

Go ahead; re-invent the wheel. This goes back to the purple cow idea. If you do something differently, you’re bound to get noticed. Apple revolutionized the way in which we listen to music. What’d it get them? A bump in revenue so large that they became one of the most successful companies on the planet.

Test, Test, Test

Great companies are always testing new ideas. Even if you’re just rolling out a specific feature to a certain segment in order to gather feedback, you should always be testing. You can’t be innovative if you’re afraid to fail, and you’ll never know if a feature will be a success unless you put it out in front of your market.

Don’t Skimp

It’s easy to grab a freelancer from Elance, Guru, or oDesk to do your SEO, content and social media. Does that make it the right way? Probably not. One small flub can seriously tarnish a business’s reputation. A few shortcuts in the SEO process could lead to huge penalties from Google or being de-indexed from the SERPs entirely.

The key here is accountability. Find people that have something to lose if they make huge blunders and they’re far less likely to make them. Cheaper isn’t always better.

Get the Referral

This is “Sales 101” stuff, but online business owners often forget it. Get the referral. It’s easier than ever to get a referral online. The sale doesn’t stop with the current customer. Ask for a Tweet or a Facebook status update in exchange for a freebie or discount. It’s that easy.

The web opens up new doors that we’ve never seen before. These doors have the potential to lead to huge successes or monumental losses. Those that are making the money are those that are willing to be different from their competitors in order to deliver a better product or service than those around them. Listen to your customers, respect them, and find ways to differentiate yourself from everyone else. Follow these rules and you’ll be counting your cash in no time.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Author: Sujan Patel

Social Media Engagement: 9 Reasons Why Less is More

In the time-crunched, information-overloaded, do-more-with-less world we work in, maintaining the right level of social media engagement is a daunting proposition.

For individuals and organizations just getting started, it can be completely overwhelming – there’s so much to do! This post strives to reduce some of the barriers to social media engagement by illustrating the importance of the “less is more” principle. It may also offer an opportunity for those with higher levels of activity to reconsider and refine their own engagement.

Since at least 2009, both individuals and organizations have felt growing pressure to increase their social media engagement. Organizations are exhorted to set up blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, YouTube and SlideShare channels, etc. – often under the threat of obsolescence if they don’t. And in addition to being invited to connect with organizations via all these channels, individuals are told that effective social media engagement is critical to their professional success and career management.

In spite of the pressure, threats, and exhortations, many professionals and organizations with low (or no) social media engagement continue to be very successful. But that doesn’t mean they should dismiss these platforms as irrelevant. The risks of not leveraging available communication channels to pursue one’s goals and objectives (aka the cost of inaction) are real, and they will continue to rise over time. Simply put, increasing social media engagement lowers risks by enhancing the ability to pursue opportunities and manage threats.

That doesn’t mean, however, that later adopters have to participate in social media in the same way and to the same degree that early adopters and enthusiasts do. In fact, many of the practices employed to date by some of social media’s biggest advocates and users have become examples of what not to do.  Unbridled enthusiasm and an “anything goes” mentality are classic hallmarks of early adoption, but as things continue to mature it becomes increasingly clear that the mania isn’t sustainable. We need to strive for a better balance between quantity and quality – and for many that boils down to the principle of less is more.

This principle should certainly lower the barriers and make it easier for later adopters to increase their social media engagement, but it’s also worthy of consideration by individuals and organizations that are already actively engaged. Especially for those who are trying to extend their reach to people who are just starting to explore and experiment, it may be time to dial things back a few notches…

Why Less Social Media Engagement is More

Not every platform makes sense. New social media platforms emerge regularly, and there’s usually a strong bandwagon effect after each launch. And of course early adopters and enthusiasts are always singing the praises of their personal favorites, exhorting others to join as well. But neither individuals nor organizations should join a social media platform just because someone says you should, or because it seems like “all the cool kids are doing it.”

It’s not all about youFor both individuals and organizations, it’s important to show your value and highlight your offerings, but too much self-focused content is another big turn-off. For individuals, it can come across as desperate, egotistical, and/or narcissistic. And organizations can sound like carnival barkers, Crazy Eddie the electronics sales guy – or worse!

Your social media engagement should be driven by your goals and objectives, as well as by the nature of the individuals/organizations with whom you want to interact.

You can cannibalize your own activity. It’s tempting to try to put a fine point on your social media engagement by having multiple Twitter handles, and/or a variety of LinkedIn groups/sub-groups, Facebook pages, Google+ pages/communities, YouTube channels, etc. Slicing engagement too finely can be very confusing to the people you’re trying to engage, however. And since many of them will pick only one of the options, they will end up concentrated in one property and/or too spread out, which impairs your effectiveness.

Trying to do too much is a recipe for failureBoth individuals and organizations who try to engage on too many platforms will find that it’s almost impossible to maintain that engagement without increased and/or dedicated resources. If they don’t increase their resource commitments, they are very likely to end up with abandoned digital properties and other digital detritus.

Develop a clear sense of what you’re going to share on each platform, as well as how often and when – and make sure your social media engagement plan can be easily maintained given available resources.

You don’t want to be part of the signal/noise problem.  Many early adopters and enthusiasts (over)share – A LOT – on all kinds of platforms. The sad irony for many of them is that even though they presumably have so much to say, the more they talk the more they decrease the likelihood that people will want to listen to them (particularly when they come across as narcissistic, post banalities and old news, and/or engage in what I call cluster posting (i.e., posting several items in quick succession on a single platform)). I have digitally tuned out hundreds of people on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook who talk too much and say too little – and I’m sure many others have done the same.

You look like you don’t have enough work to do. A hazard for individuals in particular is that high levels of social media engagement can be perceived as low levels of actual work engagement (even when social media engagement is part of your job).

Don’t feel pressured to be a big talker on any social media platform. Say enough to be heard, but focus more on saying things people want to listen to.

It’s not true that “anything goes.” Each platform has its own language, customs, and normative expectations. Individuals and organizations who participate without learning what sound social media engagement practices look like run a serious risk of undermining their own credibility – not just with respect to social media, but in general.

A high volume of activity isn’t acceptable on all platforms. There’s a much higher tolerance for a high volume of shares on a fast-moving platform like Twitter (up to 10 per day for most individuals and organizations). The acceptable volume of status and sharing activity on Facebook and Google+ is probably no more than half of what’s acceptable on Twitter – and on LinkedIn one individual status or company update per day is probably plenty.

Too much cross-posting can seem spammy. On the one hand, because you likely have a different network/followership on each platform, you need to cross-post to ensure your content reaches the maximum possible audience. On the other hand, if people see the same content several times in a short period of time, it’s more likely to be off-putting than enticing.

Learn and adhere to social media engagement best practices by platform. Don’t assume a one-size-fits-all approach is appropriate.

 

Source: Social Media Today

Author: Courtney Hunt

Matt Cutts: Google +1s Don’t Lead to Higher Ranking

It isn’t often that Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts comes right out to debunk a highly publicized blog post regarding something to do with ranking in Google.

Everybody has their own opinions of what works and what doesn’t work, and SEO in itself can be highly subjective, primarily because Google doesn’t really come out and specifically admit the things that work, because they don’t want people gaming the system.

Moz published a blog post “Amazing Correlation Between Google +1s and Higher Search Rankings” claiming that Google +1s had a direct correlation with higher search rankings in Google – and that it was higher than any other ranking factor. The post was written by Cyrus Shepard, the “Senior Content Astronaut” at Moz, and the data was taken from their 2013 ranking factors.

It’s a pretty sensational title, and immediately sparked a lot of discussion. His post brought up a lot of points about why he feels this correlation is correct, such as posts shared on Google+ are crawled and indexed almost immediately, and that posts on the site pass “link equity”. He also noted that authorship shares in the rankings as well. However, he’s also stating it as fact, instead of just a possibility without any specific hard data with proof, such as specific sites where an increase in rankings can be solely attributed to Google +1′s.

In addition to grabbing the attention of many in the SEO industry (many of whom trashed the post as being highly flawed), Cutts immediately stepped into debunk the claim of the correlation between rankings and +1s. Specifically, Cutts wrote:

Just trying to decide the politest way to debunk the idea that more Google +1s lead to higher Google web rankings. Let’s start with correlation != causation: http://xkcd.com/552/But it would probably be better to point to this 2011 post (also from SEOMoz/Moz) from two years ago in which a similar claim was made about Facebook shares: http://moz.com/blog/does-google-use-facebook-shares-to-influ… . From that blog post from two years ago: “One of the most interesting findings from our 2011 Ranking Factors analysis was the high correlation between Facebook shares and Google US search position.”

This all came to a head at the SMX Advanced search conference in 2011 where Rand Fishkin presented his claims. I did a polite debunk of the idea that Google used Facebook shares in our web ranking at the conference, leading to this section in the 2011 blog post: “Rand pointed out that Google does have some access to Facebook data overall and set up a small-scale test to determine if Google would index content that was solely shared on Facebook. To date, that page has not been indexed, despite having quite a few shares (64 according to the OpenGraph).”

If you make compelling content, people will link to it, like it, share it on Facebook, +1 it, etc. But that doesn’t mean that Google is using those signals in our ranking.

Rather than chasing +1s of content, your time is much better spent making great content.

So his belief falls in line with what a lot of SEO professionals are doing for long-term SEO success, where creating great quality content that is more likely to be shared is the best kind of strategy when it comes to content.

He does continue to reiterate that +1s and rankings are not related. “Most of the initial discussion on this thread seemed to take from the blog post the idea that more Google +1s led to higher web ranking. I wanted to preemptively tackle that perception.”

Cutts also mentioned that another SEO has been doing a rigorous study on whether it +1s lead to higher rankings are not, which he suspects will be released the next month or two. If it is providing specific examples in the study, it will be good to be the most conclusive evidence SEOs will have about whether it is or isn’t a ranking factor with concrete data to back it up.

Cutts made similar statements last year at SES San Francisco, when he said that Google doesn’t put a lot of weight on +1′s yet and advised people not to assume Google+ equates to rankings.

Below are a few reactions from Twitter. What’s your take?

moz-tweet-dave-naylor

moz-tweet-ben-cook

moz-tweet-chad-lio

moz-tweet-paul-gailey

Source: Search Engine Watch

Author: Jennifer Slegg

Local Search: How to Rank on Google in 2013

Moz has released the 2013 Local Search Ranking Factors, a survey of local experts that examines general, specific, and negative ranking factors. It has some interesting data about what local search marketers are utilizing and discovering when it comes to local search results.

When it comes to overall ranking factors, page place signals are considered the most important. This includes things like appropriate categories, keywords in business titles and proximity. This should come at no surprise and does highlight how important it is to ensure that when you’re listing your business locally that you’re selecting the most appropriate business categories as well as the keywords content.

Overall Local Search Ranking Factors

The Local Search Ranking Factors ranks the most important ranking factors as well as the most important competitor difference makers, the things that make your site stand out more versus your competitors. For the foundational ranking factors, meaning the things you can do for your local listings, if these were the top ten:

  1. Proper Category Associations
  2. Physical Address in City of Search
  3. Consistency of Structured Citations
  4. Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  5. HTML NAP Matching Place Page NAP
  6. Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
  7. Domain Authority of Website
  8. Individually Owner-verified Local Plus Page
  9. City, State in Places Landing Page Title
  10. Proximity of Address to Centroid

For the things that set your local site apart for the competitors, the top 10 are:

  1. Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  2. Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  3. Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Places Reviewers, etc)
  4. Consistency of Structured Citations
  5. Quantity of Citations from Industry-Relevant Domains
  6. Quantity of Native Google Places Reviews (w/text)
  7. Domain Authority of Website
  8. Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts)
  9. Quantity of Citations from Locally-Relevant Domains
  10. Page Authority of Places Landing Page URL

It definitely stresses just how important the quality of your reviews are, but also the quality of the reviewer, such as Yelp Elite reviewers, which helps give more weight to refuse attributed to a person, as opposed to what could just be positive reviews from the owner or negative reviews from a competitor.

What is surprising on both lists is the domain authority of a website. While domain authority has been a major part of normal SEO, it is a bit more problematic with local businesses, especially with the number of new businesses starting up and others changing names.

Domain authority is something that a lot of local businesses are lacking, especially because many of them are newer businesses that depend heavily on local listing traffic. According to the survey, your website’s domain authority could play a significant part in the ranking factors and difference makers.

Moz also lists 30 negative ranking factors, but most of them are obvious and expected, such as a false business location, keyword stuffing in the business name, incorrect category listing, and multiple place pages for what appears to be the same business.

There are also many interesting comments made by local SEO marketers on what they find is important or detrimental to local SEO. You can read entire report here.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Author: Jennifer Slegg

The 5 Pillars of Writing Great Blog Content

Content is the king of SEO, and one of the most popular mediums for providing content on a regular basis to readers is by blogging. You can use this platform to provide news and updates about your products and services and to publish articles and other materials related to your niche.

As far as your visitors are concerned, a blog provides a free informational resource while for you, it also provides an opportunity to attract the attention of your visitors and hopefully convert them into customers. However, there are five key elements that constitute a great blog.

 

Pillar 1: Start With Captivating Content…

The most important pillar by far is the content itself. It is writing great content that is also the most time consuming and difficult part of blogging. Great content is that which is well researched and provides a unique and engaging approach to the topic that it tries to tackle.

If you are blogging for your business, then your main purpose is to turn your readers into customers. Great blog content should be original and completely free of factual, spelling or grammar errors.

Do not emphasise the importance of quantity over quality. Instead, provide content regularly while ensuring that it is fresh and gives your readers something to keep coming back for.

Three tips to great content include:

  1. Call To Action Headlines
  2. Giving the reader informative and interesting information
  3. Write about breaking news topics, reviews or how-to guides

Pillar 2: What Are You Doing About Links?

Links are what lead your readers to other pages on your website or even external pages. Links form the backbone of the Internet and link building has long been a core element of online marketing.

Placing links in your content can be beneficial for search engine optimization, but you should be thinking only about your readers at this point. Include links in your articles in places where they might be useful to your readers.

You should also exchange links with similar blogs and share information. This way, you can both bring each other new readers. Internal linking can also be useful as it can lead your readers to find out more about your website and business.

Three tips to linking:

  1. Link to related stories on your blog that readers may want to read
  2. Link to informative sources on external trusted sites
  3. Only link with anchor text that is exactly describing what is being linked to

Pillar 3: Scannable Content

To someone who puts a lot of effort into writing great content for their blog, it may not be very inspiring to learn that few people will actually read it word for word.

This is just the way that people normally browse the Internet, however. It is an inescapable fact that Internet users have a short attention span, and unless they are particularly interested by a certain subject matter, they are more likely to scan through your content to get to the precise information that they are looking for.

Create scannable content by breaking up your blog posts into multiple sub-headed sections and don’t be afraid to use bold text and bulleted lists to emphasise key points.

Three tips to scannable content:

  1. Breaking sections down with images and bullet points to help reading easier
  2. Use headings and sub-headings to allow readers to jump to sections that they want to get to
  3. Highlight certain captivating words in bold (but don’t over-do it) – good use of bold is normally used for figures and stats.

Pillar 4:  Don’t Forget To Get Social!

Social media has become the number one reason for the majority of people to use the Internet. Services like Facebook and Twitter are used by hundreds of millions of people every day for chatting with friends and sharing content.

As a business, you cannot afford to ignore its importance.

Integrate social media sharing features into your blog posts so that people can easily share content that they enjoyed reading, over their favourite social networking website.

Social media also allows you to interact with your readers by responding to comments and providing them with updates. Develop a community around your blog through social media.

Three tips to social media:

  1. Make sure your blog posts have social sharing buttons to allow people to easily share content with their friends and followers.
  2. Make sure you have setup your own business social media accounts so you can engage with readers, and answer any questions and comments.
  3. Post out content that you have written to your business social media accounts.

Pillar 5: Don’t Forget SEO

Most of your first-time visitors will come from either social networking sites, or most likely, from the search engines.

While search engine optimization (SEO) is not quite what it used to be in 2013, there are still some extra steps that are very much worth taking in order to make your content more visible to the search engines.

Subtle integration of long-tail keywords into your content is one of the main elements of on-page SEO.

Other things which make your blog more visible to Google include posting links to your articles on social networking and bookmarking sites and guest blogging for others.

Ensure that search engine crawlers and people alike can easily navigate your website by avoiding excessive use of things like Flash or Java.

Three tips to SEO:

  1. Don’t spam in keywords, you need to put the reader first.
  2. Make sure every article you produce has the rel=”author” tag for Google Authorship.
  3. Use longer-tail keywords, and focus on why, how, where, who type of keywords.

Summary

Starting a blog or trying to improve a blog isn’t and shouldn’t be a chore to you. By following just some of these 5 steps can help you write better content and headlines, and find places that you can shout out about the masterpiece you have just written.

Remember to read your post before publishing. If you are finding it hard to read, then the likelihood is that you won’t be the only one that feels that way.

When it comes to content, sharing, linking and SEO, just make sure you are putting in all your efforts. If you are proud about what you have just written and feel that it is useful content that will benefit your readers, then you will be rewarded for all that hard-work.

Source: Social Media Today

Author: Craig Timmins

SEO Alchemy: Finding the “Philosopher’s Stone”

When I first saw this infographic from SEO Engine Land, it made me smile – the science and art of SEO refined and percolated for general consumption. Getting to page one of Google is a constantly moving target, with inconsistent messages from Google around their Panda and Penguin updates. True, you could make great content, but no-one reads it then you may be tempted to consider sales and marketing efforts. The question is, how? As Interflora found to their cost earlier this year, if you pay for links and what is seen as “black hat” or under-hand methods then that gets penalised. So, we are left with building popularity by writing great content which people naturally wish to like on social media like Facebook, blog commenting and paying for Adwords. The thing is, what if you’re a small business (let’s say selling jewellery) then how do you get to page one when you’re competing with national and international brands, plus articles from media sites like the Guardian? You need a great design, optimised for your chosen keywords, and you need an online marketing plan. That’s where we can help. Call us today to find out more.

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Web Design in Westerham

There are many web design companies in Westerham and the Sevenoaks area, so how do you know who to choose? Do you just need a single page website, or a showcase of your business with a complete and dynamic virtual shop window? A successful web site will attract customers to your business, generate sales leads and close sales – multiplying your profits along the way. In order to support your success, your chosen web designer will combine innovative and unique design using the latest technology, provide reliable support and deliver a website that produces results.


Finding something special is quite a challenge as many web design companies across Kent, London and the South East use templates for their designs. The Internet is a highly competitive marketplace and to ensure your web design is effective, it has to stand out from the crowd. You should look for a website designer that can work with you every step of the way to meet your unique requirements.

Search engine optimisation should be a priority, balanced with usability for your web design company. The finished design should attract visitors to your website from across the world, and in particular your local area (if you are promoting a local business).

In addition to this, the designer should deliver quality designs within agreed timescales. This means that you will need to do your research before choosing a quality Westerham based web design company.

A bespoke web design is an investment in your business that will provide a number of benefits. Look for a designer who will build your website with search engines in mind, craft a totally unique design that is user friendly and compliant with web standards. Site navigation and links should be easy to use, fast to download and give you a high SEO ranking on the major search engines.

Whether you’re looking for a new website or redesign of an existing one, please give us a call or drop us a line. SmartWave provides bespoke web design in Westerham and we’d be delighted to assist you.

Client Process

Many people ask what the design process is like, so I’ve put together the description below.

(1) Free Consultation

Schedule a free consultation by phone or meeting, where we will go through a comprehensive project planner to discuss goals, website design and content, budget, due dates, marketing, etc. We’ll also browse some sites to find out what type of design you like (and don’t like). I’ll provide my recommendations for your project, and a quote for your different design and marketing options. Payment is required to start your project. You’ll receive a service agreement that includes your option to get a full refund if you don’t like your site.

(2) Website Design

I will combine your input with my own research and design, to create a live first draft on your domain or one of my temporary domains. The site will be password protected during the design process. You get unlimited revisions to get everything just right from content and layout to fonts and colors. You can provide your own text, or use my suggested text. We can also bring in a third party copywriter if you want. If you want new photos for the site, we can coordinate with a professional photographer. Communication during the design process is by phone, email, or meeting, whichever you prefer. The design process usually lasts 2-12 weeks depending on the complexity of your site, and it’s not done until you say it is. If the site doesn’t work out for any reason, you can get a full refund.

(3) WordPress Training

If you have a WordPress site, you and/or your team will get training sessions to learn the WordPress administration panel and how to edit sections of your site. You’ll also get written tutorials to help you remember everything.

(4) Implement Marketing

Once your site is live, we can implement marketing initiatives to drive targeted traffic to your site such as directory listings, SEO, paid search advertising, social media promotion, blogging, email marketing, and even offline marketing.

(5) Web Analytics

I will implement Google Analytics on your site, so you will be able to access valuable data about your website traffic such as how many daily visitors, how people are finding your site, and what pages they are viewing. You can use this data to help you get better results. You can run Google Analytics reports yourself, or use my web analytics service which includes reports, analysis, and recommendations to help you use the data accurately. This service is provided at my hourly rate.

(6) Monitor & Support

I want to see my clients get valuable results from their web presence as much as they do. I will keep in touch with you to make sure everything is working out. It’s easy to request support if you have an emergency or need general help. I provide services at an affordable hourly rate.

How To Keep Your WordPress Site Updated and Secure

Regularly updating your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins is important to keep your site secure. WordPress releases a new version about every six months. Themes and plugins also release new versions on their own schedule. When a new version of WordPress or the theme you are using becomes available, there will be a yellow notification bar (like the image below) at the top of the page when you are logged into any page of your WordPress admin area. Simply click on the “update now” link, and follow the instructions to finish the automatic update. Usually updates go smoothly, and there is no noticeable difference to your site. The admin area may appear slightly different and/or have new features. Click on the “Check out what’s new” link to learn what changes were included in the update.

Notifications for plugin updates are not displayed at the top of the page. Instead, you will see a small circle notification (like the image to the right) beside the “Plugins” link in your admin area, which tells you how many of your plugins have new versions available. When you visit your Plugins page, you will see the links to automatically update the plugins. Occasionally, a new version of WordPress, themes, or plugins will create a problem for your site (rare if you are using good themes and plugins). It’s always recommended to create a backup of your site before you update anything, and check your site afterward to make sure everything looks normal.

What is WordPress?

If you’ve heard of WordPress, it’s probably because it’s the most popular website CMS (content management system) in the world. It’s used by over 70 million websites ranging from small personal blogs to major sites including Time, CNN, TED, and Sony to name a few. Traditional static websites are built without a content management system, and only web developers can edit its content by editing the HTML code directly. A content management system provides a way for non-developers to access the content on a website, and make edits without any programming skills. This is extremely valuable to businesses and organizations that need to keep fresh, updated content on their site without having to pay costly web developers to make those updates. Here are some good things to know about WordPress, whether you want to hire a WordPress developer or do-it-yourself.

WordPress.com vs. Self-Hosted WordPress

The first thing to clear up is the difference between WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress. WordPress.com is a service provided by the creators of WordPress, a company called Automattic. If you go to WordPress.com, you will be able to setup a free blog website by choosing one of their pre-made design themes. They will host your website for you as well. If you just want a basic blog for personal use, this is a decent free option for you. However, if your website is important for personal or business purposes, you probably don’t want to run your site through WordPress.com. Instead, you can setup a self-hosted WordPress site that is completely under your ownership. The reason you don’t want to run an important site through WordPress.com is that you will be limited to the options on WordPress.com. In many ways, they technically own your site. They can discontinue their service or take down your site if they want (even though that probably won’t happen). With a self-hosted WordPress site, you manage the source files on your own web host’s servers. There’s no limitations on what type of site you can build with a self-hosted WordPress site. (The WordPress design service I provide is the self-hosted version).

State-Of-The-Art CMS … And It’s Free

WordPress is freely released to the public for personal and commercial use through an open source license. Anyone can go to WordPress.org (instead of WordPress.com) and download the self-hosted WordPress system which consists of all the source files. WordPress is open source so that developers around the world can access the source files and modify, extend, and improve the system for everyone’s benefit. Other examples of open source projects are the Mozilla Firefox browser and Google Android operating system. A large community of WordPress developers contribute to WordPress development, and a new version is released about every six months, which improves performance, security, and functionality. Being open source is the reason WordPress has become so advanced and successful. The current WordPress v.3.3 is the 17th release since 2003.

Do-It-Yourself vs. Hire A Professional

The WordPress system caters to both professional website developers and do-it-yourselfers. For professional developers, WordPress is a flexible, high-performance CMS that can be used to build any type of custom website. Since there are no licensing fees, it allows developers to offer their clients an affordable CMS solution that can go toe-to-toe with commercial CMS’s. Many people consider WordPress the most user-friendly CMS, which is why it is often requested by clients.

For do-it-yourselfers, WordPress provides an accessible system for building a WordPress site through “themes” and “plugins”. WordPress comes pre-installed with a default blog theme, and you can choose to upload new themes from a large market of free and premium themes. The same goes for plugins. While themes and plugins make it easier, there’s still a learning curve that do-it-yourselfers have to go through, and you may not be able to edit everything you want without modifying code such as CSS and PHP. Most of the do-it-yourselfers I work with have gone down the frustrating path of searching through WordPress tutorials and forums for help, until they finally give up and decide to pay a professional to help them.

WordPress Maintenance

Since WordPress is open source, it’s important to keep your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins updated for security reasons. In most cases, updating is as simple as clicking a button when a new version becomes available. Keeping everything updated is highly recommended, but your site will continue working without updating. The maintenance requirements for WordPress aren’t much compared to its benefits. I recommend WordPress to most of my clients, whether the project is a casual blog or a serious business website.

FAQ

What is SEO and how does it affect my web site?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation it involves building new websites, or changing existing websites, so that they rank highly in a search engine’s organic (free) listings when users search on terms that are related to the site’s content.  Google maintains a 60-70 percent share of all searches in the United States.  Your website content is one of the main elements that determine your search engine listing.

How do I promote my Web presence?

Promotion of your Web site is critical to its success. If nobody knows your site exists, nobody will see it. Word-of-mouth advertising is valuable, but not enough to garner a return on your investment. Luckily, there are ways to go about promoting your Web site that are relatively simple-and effective. Manage your website content. Update your site frequently. Participate in a blog. Establish your business on some of the social networking sites like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. Have your suppliers, customers and affiliates link to your website. These are just some of the things you can do to promote your business on the web.

How is a Web presence different from traditional advertising?

A Web presence is much like radio, print, or television advertising in that your goal is to determine your target audience, capture their attention and motivate them to action. With traditional advertising it is sometimes possible to make a poorly-conceived advertisement work for you as long as you saturate the medium being used. This is not the case on the Worldwide Web. If your site is complicated, poorly designed and impossible to navigate easily, people will simply move on and probably never return no matter how well your site is ranked within search engines. Unlike traditional forms of advertising, visitors to your site, whether they followed a link or found you through a search engine, arrive there because they are already interested in something you have to offer. With that bonus in your favor, a well-constructed Web site is what it takes to convince them that they are in the right place.

How to Grow My Business

You can grow your business with Internet marketing which includes search engine marketing, display advertising, e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing, interactive advertising and viral marketing.

Should I include links from my Web site to other sites?

Including relevant links to other sites is good business on the Web. For example: If you operate a store that sells ski equipment, including a link to the manufacturer’s Web site would allow those visiting to find out more about some of the products that you offer. Overall, links are easy to include and are a great way to provide additional information, entertainment and education to your site’s visitors, all of which increases the likelihood that they will become customers. However, it is more important to the search engines that other relevant websites link to your website. Contact your suppliers, clients and affiliates and ask them to link to your website. Incoming links have a high value to your search engine placement.

What things should I consider when designing graphics for my site?

When designing graphics or images to be used within a Web page, knowledgeable designers try to balance aesthetics and efficiency. Graphics should be attractive and functional, imposing only a moderate download time of the entire page. Our current development techniques utilize many photos as background images which load independently from the content, helping the search engines find the content quicker.

How long will it take to complete your project?

From the signing of production agreement, Equinox Brown averages an eight to 12 week turnaround time for most sites. Of course, if you need something quicker – just let us know.

What things should I consider when developing my site’s layout?

One consideration when creating your website is to make certain that your layout allows visitors to easily absorb the information presented and that it allows for efficient navigation. Also, if you do not have enough content on your site to justify a sophisticated layout, don’t feel obligated to use one; in other words, if your site’s message is going to be simple, then keep your layout simple. A well-designed layout will make important page links obvious to your visitors, allow them to obtain the information they want in no more than two mouse button clicks and keep them from having to hunt for page links to get more information.
Who will retain ownership and copyrights for all Brand Identity and Creative work?

Clients retain complete copyright ownership of all final artwork and designs. It is possible that purchased or leased photographs may be used within a site may have managed usage rights with limitations defined during acquisition.

Web Browser Compatible?

Did you know that we make sure your site is web browser compatible? Your web site should look good on a PC and a MAC. It should maintain its appearance in Firefox, Safari, and Chrome as well as in Internet Explorer (IE). We will support at least the last two major versions back of each of the current top browsers.

In 2010, the IE market share was just over 50% meaning about half of all internet users were surfing the web using IE. This may seem like a lot (and it is) but the IE market share continues to slide as more and more internet users find modern browsers such as Firefox (32%), Chrome (8%), Safari (6%), and Opera (2%). If you currently use IE. you should try surfing the web with something new. You just may like what you find.

Click on any of the links below to download the current versions of other major web browsers:

Photo Gallery?

We can design any number of photo gallery pages for your site. If you want it simple of fancy, we’ve got a solution to fit your budget and needs.

Web Design? or Web Content?

A Web site can look beautiful, but if it has terrible writing, it can affect the reader’s perception of your company’s credibility and professionalism. Beautiful graphics lose their impact when the accompanying copy is full of typos or confusing sentences.

When it comes down to someone making a choice between you and a competitor, good writing can make the difference.

Web Compliance is Important

Your website should be web compliant. Web standards and other technical specifications are driven by a set of best practices for building web sites. We work diligently to deliver web sites that pass the W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium) validation process showing we care enough to follow guidelines that ensure long-term compliance and growth for the Web.

Key Words Compete

Web sites in your industry are competing for the same keyword space on search engines. There may be a significant number of potential clients that need your services but they aren’t finding your site. Use Google Analytics to find out how your customers are currently finding your website and use the Google Key Word Tool to learn more about key words in your industry.

Web Design Starts with Your Logo

When you think about what your new website should “look” like you might consider starting with your logo. What is your current online branding like. What are your colors, fonts, and shape of your logo. These can help drive what your new corporate branding should look like. Modernization of your website doesn’t mean reinventing your brand unless that is what you are looking to do. Our designers like to discuss your current logo first and then let their creative juices come up with new design ideas for your website. We will suggest many of the latest trends in marketing and usability on the web. If needed, we can develop a new logo for you based on your corporate vision.