Where we share our insights about all things web design, development, and marketing.


Using testimonials to build credibility on your website

What better way to show the quality of your work then by other customers saying it themselves? Using customer testimonials can help to build credibility for your business. Allowing new customers to see what previous people have said and felt about your products or services gives them a better sense of your quality of work. It also creates a more personal relationship between you and your customers.

You can do this by dedicating a full page to testimonials on your website. This way, people can go directly to a list of testimonials or reviews to see what other people are saying about your company. You can also include a testimonial box with rotating testimonials on one or several of your pages. In addition, if you have a website that sells products, you could have one or multiple testimonials displayed by each product specifically about that product.

How do you get testimonials from customers? You can do this a number of ways. You could ask them for a testimonial at the time of purchasing your product or service. You could send them a follow up review card or email thanking them for their business and asking for feedback. You could also include a testimonial form directly on your website so people can submit reviews or feedback at any time.

Regardless of how you get the testimonials, you will surely run into the negative comment from time to time. While you may not want to display this comment on your website, you can still use this to your advantage to better your customer service. Take the opportunity to respond to their comment and attempt to better the relationship with that customer and rectify the situation. In the end, you may resolve the issue and they may provide you with a positive testimonial next time.

Showing potential customers that other customers are happy with your products or services will help to make your business more credible to those viewers. They will trust other individuals who have dealt with your company.


Announcing Your New Website

Once your new website is complete, how do you tell people about it? Announcing the new launch of your website can be done in a number of ways in order to get the word out and help drive traffic to your new site.

If this is your first website, make sure that you get the web address printed on your business cards and brochures so that people know there is an additional way to get in touch with your business now. Also, connect with your social network followers and tell them about your website launch. Make a post on Facebook and Twitter with the link to your site so that your followers can go directly to the new website to check it out. It might also be helpful to encourage feedback about your site so that you know what your customers think about it from the get go.

In addition, you could submit a press release to local news sources to let people know that your business is now online or that you have redesigned your website for an improved user experience. If you offer special services or features on your website such as ordering online or a blog, include that in your announcement so that users know their experience can be interactive.

On that same note, if you have a blog or news manager on your website, use it to help announce your new website. Make your first post about your new or improved site and take users on a tour of your pages. Tell them what they can find on your site and what they can do while they are there. This is also a great way to encourage feedback about your website.

Launching a new website is just the first step. Once you have your site, you need to let people know it is there. Spread the word and drive traffic to your website using these quick and easy tips.


SEO Vocabulary

You may not be a search engine optimization expert, but it doesn’t hurt to learn the lingo so you are more informed about what can be done with your website to help it rank on search engines. Here are a few of the most important terms to learn. And don’t worry, if you don’t understand them, just ask us and we will help. Or if you are interested in boosting your website’s SEO after learning more about it, give us a call – we can help you with that too.

301 Redirect – permanent redirect of one domain to another domain, or one page to another page. This comes in handy if you have multiple domains or if you need to change page names.
Adwords – a Google based program that helps you to target specific keywords or phrases in paid per click advertising.
Algorithm – the formula used by search engines to compile search data based on the users search term.
Alt text – alternate text used to describe images for blind viewers or when images cannot be viewed.
Analytics – Google based program that tracks traffic and search data for your website.
Anchor text – the text that is used within a link tag to describe that link.
Back link – an incoming link to a page from another page or site
Black hat – bad SEO techniques that go against standard guidelines and are frowned upon by search engines
Bounce rate - the percentage of visitors who leave a site without viewing any page other than the landing page.
Heading – the title of the page in the content area of the site. This usually has an H1 tag which is read with more weight by search engines. There can be up to 6 different heading types on a page.
Index – means that your site has been found by search engines and added to their list of websites that can show up in search results.
Keyword or key phrase – the word or phrase that is the focus of your content on that page. It is also the word or phrase that you will most likely rank for in search engines.
Keyword density – the amount of keywords that are in the content compared to the amount of text
Keyword stuffing – overusing keywords or phrases in content in attempt to skew the keyword density of a page.
Meta description – the meta tag that describes the content of each page.
Meta keyword – the meta tag that lists the key words and phrases of each page.
Meta tags – HTML tags that describe the title, keywords, and description of each page to search engines.
Meta title – the meta tag that describes the title of each page. This shows up in the tab of most browsers too.
Nofollow – tells a search engine not to follow a link to a certain page, index that page, or pass page rank to that page.
Organic rank – your website’s natural rank in Google. These results show up in the center area of search results. Paid results will generally show up on the right or above organic results.
Page Rank – a website’s popularity as measured by the search engine rankings
Search Engine  - an online tool for users to search for and find websites by enter a search term.
Search Engine Optimization – optimizing a website for search engines so that users’ search queries will match the content of that site.
Search Engine Marketing – encompasses the overall marketing strategy to search engines.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Site map -  a page that lists all pages of a website with links.
Stop word – a word that is so commonly used, it is ignored by search engines when finding results (such as prepositions and conjunctions).
White hat – good SEO techniques that follow standard search engine guidelines.


Tips for small business blogging

Are you blogging for your small business? If you have already started a business blog, you are on the right track, but how to you use it to its maximum potential? Follow these tips for a more successful business blog and you could help to improve your overall brand image and customer connection.

1.    Make your content shareable – and share it yourself

You want to make it easy for your readers to share your blog articles with others. If they read one of your blog posts and are impressed by it enough to share with their friends, you should give them the option to immediately share it on the most popular social networks as well as by email. You should also share your own posts on your business social networking pages to let people know there is a new article to read. You are more likely to get readers and followers that way too.

2.    Choose a good topic

Topic is key. People want something interesting to read. It is important to make sure that your articles have interesting and informative content that will catch the readers’ attention, while sticking to the focus of your business blog.

If you are out of ideas, try out some of these:

•    Company milestones
•    Answer customer questions
•    Write how-to articles related to your products/services
•    Featured customer/client
•    Compare your products or services
•    Announce new products or services
•    Give suggestions to your customers

3.    Be consistent

You want your articles to be relevant to your company, not about some random thing you saw on the internet that you liked. It is important to keep a consistent string throughout your posts that tie back to the reason you are writing blog articles for your business. It is also good to keep your tone consistent too. You may have multiple people writing articles for your blog, but make sure that they are written in similar form so that they come off consistent to readers.

4.    Use keywords

We can’t say this enough. Keywords should be in everything that you write for your business or website. This will be a major boost to your search engine rankings if you are using the right keywords. Posting blog articles to your website keeps your content updated, and search engines like new content. If you are unsure of what keywords to use, do some research first and come up with a list of general words to include in your articles.

These simple tips will help get you on the right track with your business blog. The more you do it, the more you will get the hang of it, and before you know it, you will be blogging like crazy.


10 Things You Might Want to Change About Your Website

There are some things that users get tired of seeing, or not seeing on websites. These things may seem like great ideas in the beginning, but really, they may just turn users away from your site. If your website has some (or all) of these things included, you may want to consider updating your website and adding or removing some of these things to create a better user experience.

1.    Pop-ups
Users generally do not like to be bombarded with a pop up windows when the first visit your site. Let them make their own decisions about what they want to do once they get to your site.

2.    No contact information
Leaving off contact information is always a bad idea. That is one of the top things that people visit a website for. You want to give them a clear way to get in touch with you. After all, you want them to buy your product or services don’t you?

3.    Automatically playing multimedia
Again, people want to make their own decisions about what they want to hear or see when they visit your site. A video or music automatically playing can distract them and make them close the window on your site.

4.    No social media links
With the ever-growing popularity of social media, people want to be able to connect with you on all levels. Plus, it is a great way to stay in contact with your customers and clients and reach them on a more casual level.

5.    No blog
Blogging is like social media. It gives you another way to connect with people in a more casual way and allows you to present more information on your site. In addition, that content is always changing and it gives people a reason to come back to your website.

6.    No call to action
It is important to show people what your ultimate goal is for them. You can guide them with calls to action on how they should navigate through your site as well as the purpose of your website.

7.    Confusing layout and content
Just like with calls to action, your content and overall layout of your site guides people to what they need to look at. If your content is laid out in a confusing way, people will get lost in the information.

8.    Flash websites
Flash websites may look cool, but they cannot be viewed on phones and tablets. This is a major downfall if you do not have a separate mobile version of your website.

9.    Slow slideshows
Let’s be honest – people are impatient. They do not want to wait for a slide to change so that they can see the next deal or special. If you are going to use a slower slideshow for a certain reason, be sure to give the user controls to navigate through the slideshow on their own.

10.    Dizzying background images
Your background image and colors should be pleasing to the eye and not too distracting from the main information of your website. You don’t want to hurt someone’s eyes because they stared at your intense red colored background too long!

These things tend to drive people crazy when they visit websites. You want to provide your users with a pleasant experience when they visit your site, so that they come back for more.