Write Clearly - It’s Better For Your Business | Header

Write Clearly – It’s Better For Your Business

A friend recently told me about a newspaper ad that he had seen. In it, a chain of stores included this curious qualifier in the small print *Not available in all stores.

If all stores don’t have the item, why is the chain advertising it?

Obviously, the message that the chain is trying to send is that SOME stores don’t have the item. The intended message, that the item is available here and there, but not everywhere, would be completely clear if the small print would simply say *Not available in SOME stores.

And that brings up another question: Do I really want to travel to a store in the chain, only to find that the store doesn’t have the item that I want? That experience would not make me happy, and such rudeness might discourage me from shopping at any of the chain’s stores again. Overall, this is a poorly worded ad. The company should make sure that the item is available in all stores, or else focus on some other piece of merchandise that is everywhere. Continue reading

Spam Filters and Why They Are Important | Header

Spam Filters and Why They Are Important

Spam – disruptive online messages, especially commercial messages posted on a computer network or sent as email.

In today’s world, just about everybody is on the Internet. The Internet is an amazing place and allows communication like never before. I can send somebody in Montana or Madagascar an email, and they get it within minutes of my sending it. How amazing! However, just like with a lot of good things, there can be bad things as well.

People all over the world have figured out ways to build software that searches the Internet for email addresses and then sends spam to those addresses. For the most part, spam is just an annoyance. However, sometimes spam can cost you a lot.

There are people out there with malicious intentions who have developed viruses that they often times include with spam emails. These viruses have clever names like “Locky,” and they encrypt the information on your hard drive and then require you to pay several hundred, sometimes thousands of dollars to get your information back. Most of these cases are not from America, and that makes it very difficult for law enforcement to do anything about them. Continue reading

How To Update Your Business Listing Holiday Hours | Header

How To Update Your Business Listing Holiday Hours

The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to make sure all your ducks are in a row whether your business takes a holiday break or you’re open for business as usual. Many customers will wonder if your holiday hours will be different from your regular hours, and it’s good business etiquette to show your special holiday hours if you’ll be having them.

If you were greeted with a helpful reminder from Google to update your holiday hours, but aren’t quite sure how to do so, we’ve put together this helpful how-to blog that walks you through the necessary steps for both your Google and Bing business listings. Continue reading

CMS vs Custom Development

CMS vs Custom Development

In this day and age, Content Management Systems (CMS) are easier to use and more versatile than ever. WordPress, for instance, started its life as an intuitive blogging platform and evolved into a full-featured framework for robust, database-driven websites. In a lot of circumstances, content management systems decrease development time and help facilitate rapid deployment. However, I can’t emphasize enough that third party content management systems should not be regarded as one-size-fits-all solutions.

As website builders, it is our responsibility to ensure that we’re utilizing the correct software solution for the job; lest we create more work for ourselves by altering core functionality, or by adding new functionality that drastically deviates from the content management system’s fundamental purpose.

Furthermore, the design team should have intimate knowledge of how the given CMS works and interact closely with the development team to ensure that the design itself doesn’t introduce functionality that is not native to the software. In our experience, this lack of synergy between designers and developers is the number one cause of superfluous custom development that could’ve been avoided. Continue reading

Top 3 SEO Insights You Need to Know for 2017

Top 3 SEO Insights You Need to Know for 2017

Even if you know nothing about how search engines arrange the results when you conduct a search, you’ve probably at one time or other experienced results that are constantly in flux. As Google, Bing and other search engines work to provide you with the best match to your query, the search engines are constantly getting tweaked.

With many businesses now planning their budgets for 2017, we thought it would be helpful to show you the directions where the search engines are heading so you can reap the benefits of staying on top of things.

Even if you’re already part of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program, you can still benefit by staying current on SEO trends. If your SEO program is with us, you can make sure your marketing objectives for next year align with what is trending and where we will likely be heading. If your SEO program is with another company, you can make sure they’re on top of these trends, and if they’re not, we’d be happy to discuss our different SEO packages with you.

So what should you look for in 2017? Here’s what we expect to see as we wrap up 2016 and move on into the new year. Continue reading

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