Why Custom-Built Websites are Better than DIY Websites

Why Custom-Built Websites are Better than DIY Websites

As the World Wide Web continues to mature, do-it-yourself (DIY) tools that allow people to easily create their own websites using drag-and-drop user interfaces, as well as pre-made themes, have become ubiquitous. While DIY tools and commodity themes can be beneficial for individuals or for a small startup, they can’t compare to a custom-built website designed for an established business.

So what can a custom-built website provide you that a DIY website builder tool can’t? How about a completely customized website, built specifically with your business or industry in mind? Continue reading

Take Heart, Google Penguin is Near - Header

Take Heart, Google Penguin is Near *Update* It’s here!

The long-awaited Google Penguin 4.0 seems to finally be reaching its launching point. Recent discussions with the Google team have revealed that they’ve been working on a launch announcement, and a date has been set to go live. Unfortunately they’re keeping the exact release date hidden from the public, since previous targets failed to hit the mark and frustrated webmasters.

What is Google Penguin?

Google Penguin is Google’s attempt to prevent artificially increasing a website’s ranking in the search results through purchasing links from link networks whose sole purpose is boosting Google rank, as well as through other unnatural linking schemes. Continue reading

What Can WordPress Do For You?

What Can WordPress Do For You?

By now, if you’ve ever spent any time searching for solutions to update content on your website, you are sure to have come across WordPress. WordPress is one of the largest content management systems (CMS) out there, and it is also completely Open Source, which means that it’s 100% free to use!

WordPress Content Editing Those features are nice, but you want to know how it can benefit your company. With a new setup, it is very clean, simple, and easy to use. The interface is streamlined to get you to what you need in as few steps as possible, and the organization of sections is clear as well. WordPress is primarily a blogging tool, which gives it a high focus on content, the ability to edit that content, and control over how that content is displayed, which is one of the main reasons many companies choose to move to a WordPress-based system. Past the blogging side though, WordPress offers you the ability to create pages with additional content, as well as control over the navigation of the site, so you can really customize which pages show up where, and under what main sections. This takes it away from being just a blog, but lets your WordPress site become a website for whatever solution you need.

Continue reading

Grow Your Business By Creating Your Own Story | Header

Grow Your Business By Creating Your Own Story

Here’s some good news for businesses: Media outlets are looking for your story, and when they run it, you’ll get free publicity.

Every newspaper has column inches that it needs to fill with copy and pictures, and every TV station has minutes of air time that it wants to fill with stories about local people who are succeeding in business or doing wonderful things for their communities. Continue reading

How To Set Up Google Experiments | Header

How To Set Up Google Experiments

Testing the landing pages on your website can have a profound impact on your business’s bottom line. Through small changes in text, design, and layouts, you can drastically improve the amount of time that visitors stay on a page, conversions, sales, or any other important area for your business.

One of the great things about using Google Analytics is how simple it is to jump right in and start experimenting yourself. In this blog we’ll walk you through setting up your own Google Experiment in just 6 easy steps. Continue reading

Email and Devices | Header

Email and Devices

Today more and more jobs rely on email. This becomes especially obvious when you go to a website and fill out a contact form and a short while later, a representative from that company calls you back. This happens because that form on the website is linked directly to an email account, and every time somebody fills out the form and hits submit, the form sends that information directly to that email account.

Let’s take a look at that specific email account, though. That email account is important. Not only does it have the information coming into it, but it probably is also filled with folders storing information from previous submissions as well as any business emails they send/receive with that account.

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Querying by Distance in MySQL - Header

Querying by Distance in MySQL

Is your website doing everything possible to help your clients find you and get to you? One valuable tool that you can use to accomplish this important goal is to include a “Locations” page on your site. Suppose that your business is a chain of restaurants. In that case, a Locations page can tell customers which of your eateries is closest to the hungry person’s present location.  If you don’t yet have such a page, it’s definitely something worth considering, and here’s how programmers go about building it.

Typically, such a page consists of a search field that allows their users to provide a location, and then returns a list of nearby destinations sorted by distance, often accompanied by a Google Map.

Your only asset is a database table containing all possible locations with columns specifying latitude and longitude. When the user submits their location, you’ll likely utilize the Google Maps API to retrieve the coordinates from an address, which you can then use to compare against your database records. Continue reading

Sharp Innovations Client to be Featured on Fox & Friends Sunday Morning

BeBalanced Logo One of the nation’s most popular TV hubs every Sunday morning, Fox and Friends, will host current Sharp client, BeBalanced Hormone Weight Loss Centers, this Sunday morning. BeBalanced has contracted us for a full website redesign, plus several elements of programming (like the integration of custom franchise landing pages) and search engine optimization services. Further, this Sunday will be the launch date of the newly redesigned website; the Sharp creative team has worked around the clock and after hours to have the ability to “go live” for our client’s special air time.

See the new site herewww.bebalancedcenters.com

The BeBalanced Background

Struggling with weight is a reality for people all across the United States. Founder, Dawn Cutillo struggled with her own female-related health issues and inability to lose weight, and wondered what kind of impact hormones played on the constant struggle. Continue reading

Sharp Team Unveils SEO Reporting Tool 1.0 | Header

Sharp Team Unveils SEO Reporting Tool 1.0

Not many web marketing firms can claim they have an in-house search engine optimization tool at their disposal, but now thanks to the forward-thinking SEO crew at Sharp, this has become a reality not only for our SEO team but for our clients as well. (It’s technically still in BETA but we’re letting the cat out of the bag)

Monthly reporting is nothing new to our dozens of SEO clients, in fact it’s the norm, but a tool custom-built for smaller businesses is a bit out of the ordinary, and we’re pleased to be able to offer it. We know our clients and their businesses, and therefore saw a need for a custom tool that offers a statistical presentation of results, trends, figures and more, that overshadows generic reporting.


In many ways our SEO tool simplifies things. Rather than endless lists and tabs of statistics you’re probably very much removed from, our tool focuses a lot of attention on your bread and butter: sessions, conversions, search queries, etc. Continue reading

3 Quick Ways to Improve your Homepage | Header

3 Quick Ways to Improve your Homepage

Building a successful online presence for your business requires not only proper design, but rewarding internet marketing as well. As the internet and user behavior continuously evolves, so should your website in order to cater to the demands of your customers.

RLPS Interiors footer

RLPS Interiors maintains a clean footer while still covering all contact info a user might need

Your website’s homepage is the first place to look for improvement in a website review, since more often than not this is the first place people see when they find your company. In reviewing your homepage there are a few tried and true tips we find ourselves frequently recommending to our clients. Test them out on your website and you’ll likely find a boost in conversions, calls, or even walk-ins just by making a few simple adjustments. Continue reading