Vital to any company’s marketing efforts is a consistent, recognizable brand. Coca-Cola is identifiable through their font and red and white color scheme. The “golden arch” connects everyone’s mind to McDonald’s. Amazon’s orange, curved arrow underline is recognizable without even seeing the website name. All of these are excellent examples of consistent brands, and they all incorporate aspects of their logo throughout their websites. You should, too!
2018 was a big year for the Sharp Innovations team! We look back at some of the highlights of the last year and thank you all for being a part of our exciting trajectory toward the future.
Perhaps the most exciting news of 2018 for us was finally obtaining a certification we’ve been working toward for quite some time. Rewarded for an effort that stretched over three years, we completed the process to become GSA certified. This allows us to work with all government agencies, whether at the state or federal level, for all their web development and digital marketing needs. We’re one of the select few firms in PA who can do so, and we look forward to this new set of challenges.
When you have a website, and potential customers are searching for a business that offers the products and services that you do, a well designed SEO program will help to bring those potential clients to your site. You can think of SEO as a match game for you and prospective customers, and without a good SEO program, many potentially profitable matches may not happen for you.
By definition, SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results, which are results that occur naturally, not as a result of an advertisement that you’ve bought.
To keep your site working effectively, it’s absolutely necessary to refresh your SEO strategy on a regular basis to match the methods people are using to find you, because those methods aren’t the same as they were 5 or 10 years ago.
One of the simplest ways to improve your online marketing presence is establishing a business listing on Google and Bing. But just having a presence isn’t enough. To benefit fully, you must make your presence a hard-working member of your marketing team.
Too often we find that businesses fail to take the extra few moments to fully detail their profiles. By adding several set of photos (inside, outside, team, at work, etc), business hours, a 360-degree virtual tour, and other useful data, you are directly providing not only Google with additional information on your business, but potential customers as well, and photos add more of a human touch to your website. This additional information can help improve click-throughs on your business listing, your local pack ranking, and your localized organic ranking.
If you are not part of the minority of businesses currently taking advantage of these features, it’s likely that you’re missing out on another simple way to improve click-throughs, your local pack ranking, and your localized organic ranking – Customer Reviews.
Your website should be hard at work driving targeted traffic and leads to help complete all the goals that you had when you created the site. Whatever your goals may be, and even if you currently have or have had in the past signed up for search engine optimization (SEO) services with another internet marketing firm, it may be wise to perform an SEO audit.
But first, don’t let the word “audit” scare you. We’re not the IRS, and an SEO audit is actually a positive experience that can help to bring you more business.
In an SEO audit, the first step is a comprehensive diagnostic survey of your website, and this survey will gauge how your current website is performing and how you (or our internet marketing team) can ideally approach your site’s optimization.
From our computers to our phones, and even to custom computer devices, apps are used everywhere as a part of our daily lives. Whether it be for entertainment, convenience, or for a work-related need, these applications we use make what we do simpler and more efficient. If talk of apps and what all the thought-process that goes into them is too much stress and hard to understand, contact us now and we can help you to better understand your options, otherwise, read on…
Apps are most recognized today through their use on mobile devices, but that is truly just a name for something that has been used long before on desktop computers as well. Fast forward to today, and while mobile phones are taking off in the amount of usage and popularity, desktops still remain as a steady tool, especially among the working world. The desktop app is not dead, in fact, there have been, in recent years, new technologies intended at making applications made for the computer easier and more streamlined to create, which also allows for greater innovations and faster build times. What is this method? In conjunction with using Node.js and Electron, we can help to deliver a fully custom app, with all the features you could expect. This technology builds on top of a variation of chrome, so everything that you love and gain out of Chrome’s usage, can also then be applied to that app. This would include its speed, responsiveness, up-to-date HTML/CSS, and more. We can even help to set up automated updates to your application to ensure users are always on the newest version of your great application tools.
Who remembers turning to the Yellow Pages in the phone book to find companies for a needed service? If you’re too young to have used the Yellow Pages, ask someone who grew up with them. In the years before the Internet, companies paid a lot of money to have the most attractive ads in the Yellow Pages and to attract business. Many of us looked at the ads to determine if a company’s service would meet our needs. Then, we made trusting choices based on pages in a book with limited space, and a major factor in our decisions was the attractiveness of the ads.
Today, the Yellow Pages do still exist, but no one is quite sure why. Instead of looking in the back of a phone book to find a restaurant or a plumber, modern consumers our mobile phones, tablets, and computers. We lead electronic lives, and we depend on the searching technologies, web page content, and reviews to determine if a company will supply the best service for our needs.
As a result, the importance of having the most attractive Yellow Page ad is a thing of the past. Now, a successful business must try to develop a web site that attracts their consumers and shows how the business behind the ad is the best one to meet the customers’ needs.
Google recently reported on their Webmaster Central Blog that they saw a 32% increase in hacked websites in 2016, in comparison to 2015, and even more unfortunate for webmasters was that Google expects the upward trend to continue. If this worries you, it should, especially when your website can be penalized for hacked content and either be demoted or completely dropped from the search results pages.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
– Ben Franklin
The good news is, there are some steps you can take to help fight off hackers from compromising your site. While no method is full-proof, these tips can help protect your business’ brand, and save you the time, and cost to recover from an attack.
If you’ve ever sat down for one of our free website design or internet marketing consultations, you already know that we do things a bit differently here at Sharp Innovations. We want to understand your business inside and out, and we look to identify your goals, the target audience, potential hardships and more before we dive into your new website or internet marketing project.
In an effort to cater to the ever-changing digital landscape, we previously launched a three-tiered approach to our search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. While most clients fit into the Tier 1 program, some look for a more proactive approach that focuses on conversions, Return on Investment (ROI), Key Performance Indicators (KPI), accelerated content and more. This is why we launched our Tier 2 and Tier 3 SEO programs.
The team at Chemical Concepts put us to the test last February, and we’re pleased to share the results of their ongoing Tier 2 SEO campaign. Here are some of the key metrics measured over the duration of the campaign:
- There were 19% more user sessions in 2016-2017 when compared to 2015-2016.
- Organic referrals were a driving force in that growth, as Chemical Concepts saw 28% more organic referrals.
- You may be thinking, ‘The extra traffic and referrals are great, but are they converting?’ The answer is a resounding yes – to the tune of a 45% increase in goal conversions (those visitors filling out the contact form or placing an order)! This increase in goal conversions also accounted for a 35% increase in online invoiced sales.
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.