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Dec 5 16

Local SEO – What It Is & Why It’s Important

If this year has taught us anything it’s that a website is essential for running a business, any kind of business. That website design, however, can make or break your success. In a highly competitive business landscape, website design is a huge factor in what makes your website stand out from the crowd. An effective website takes planning and precision design. From concept to creation your website needs to offer your audience an experience that puts you head and shoulders above the competition. This entails ensuring it has an eye-catching design, an interesting layout, an easy-to-use interface, and offers the best possible user experience. But, to have a website that meets all these design requirements, you have to work with the right web design company. 

The process of finding a good web design company can be a challenge since there are so many of them out there. Though the task may seem daunting, you need to be selective and make sure that the company you are considering working with can offer the best solutions while understanding your business and its goals.  

Finding the Right Fit – Tips for Choosing a Web Design Company 

Whether you are looking to get a new website made or want to revamp your existing one to improve its impact and performance, you need to find a good web design company that’s the right fit for your business. Here are some tips to make this selection process a little easier for you: 

 

  • Start With Online Search 

 

Just like with any other important decision in life, use the internet to do a little research on web design companies by using search engines. You need to have multiple options from which to devise a shortlist.  

Use a good search engine like Google to check out different websites and blogs that rank and list the best web design agencies. Once you have a list of web design companies, start vetting them out to find the right one for yourself.  

 

  • Check Their Websites to Shortlist 

 

Begin the shortlisting process by visiting the websites of all the companies on your list. Since we are dealing with web design companies, their websites should be a good representative of their work. If a web design company’s own website looks outdated, unexciting, and non-engaging, they are not the right people to work with. 

How will a company design attractive and engaging websites for its clients when it couldn’t do so for itself? So, simply cut out companies whose websites look bad or boring from your list. 

Pro Tip: While reviewing websites, make sure to consider all the key factors that define a good website and not just focus on the layout. You should also consider factors like navigation, user-friendliness, how easy it is to find relevant information on a website, load time, quality of visuals, and the engagement levels of a website. Watch for spelling or grammatical errors. The design of a site may look great, but if it has glaring spelling or grammatical errors it makes the company look sloppy and unprofessional.  

 

  • Check Reviews to Shortlist Further 

 

Now that you have shortlisted some of the best-looking companies, it’s time to dig a little deeper to pick the best one. As the saying goes, beauty is only skin deep. So even though a website might look good on the surface, what is the company behind it really like?  

One of the best ways to find out if a company’s claims hold water is to see what its customers have to say about it. You will not only learn about the quality of a company’s products and services but also about their professionalism and commitment.  

Start with the companies’ own websites. Ideally, every company should have reviews and testimonials from clients on its website. But, the good ones (the ones that are confident of their work) often also provide the clients’ URL, so their prospective customers can see their work in action. If a company doesn’t have testimonials on the website, that’s not a good sign. Contact other businesses that have used the web design company. Are they happy with their website? Has their experience been a positive one? Find out whether they think they got what they were looking for in the web design, or redesign, process.  

While it is important to see what information a web design company provides on its website about its previous clients and work, don’t just stop there. Do check out the company’s reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook to gain a better insight into their work, professionalism, behavior, customer support, and overall reliability.  

 

 

 

 

  • Look at Their Portfolios to Find Your Top Picks  

 

If you have spent time checking out the reviews of each web design company in your list, you are likely to have a small list of companies that are proficient in their work, according to their clients.  

To narrow the list further and pick the top three to five design agencies, you need to check out their portfolio. This will help you determine if they can offer what you are looking for. There may be several web design companies out there that are great at what they do, but not all of them do the kind of work you want. So, take your time to go through their portfolios. Also, do not hesitate to ask them for relevant samples.  

Bonus Tip 

Don’t fall for screenshots of websites. Ask the design companies to send you functioning URLs of the websites they have designed, and visit them to review the work yourself. 

Here are a few things to consider while reviewing the portfolios: 

  • Are they keeping up with the latest web design trends? 
  • Are the websites user-friendly, responsive, and mobile-friendly? 
  • Is their variety in their work or do all their websites look similar? This will tell you how creative their designers are. You don’t want a website that looks similar to a hundred others out there. 

Ideally, you should work with a design company that has experience working in your industry. However, do not reject a company solely on this criterion if you love their work. This brings us to our next step. 

 

  • Can they produce Value Added Content 

 

sign of a good web design company is its ability to also produce creative content pieces for your website. This is one of those areas where you can really differentiate yourself from the competition by providing informative, entertaining and compelling content designed to keep customers on your site for longer. This can take the form of a blog, an advertorial, video and audio storytelling and countless other high-level production elements. Do they have a team of writers skilled at communicating effectively and accurately in your language? If you have customers that you’d like to be able to access your site in another language, can your web design company accommodate that?  

 

  • Check out their Agency Culture

     

Ideally, you want a web design company you can work well with. These are the people you will trust with representing your company on the largest platform there is. You need to consider whether the web design company’s values and culture align with your own. Check out their social media profiles, are they engaged with their staff and their audience. Do the people working there look happy? The best web design companies have a list of driving principles and values. Look into whether the web design agency is involved in its community or engages in any charity work.  

Ask if you can meet the team that will be involved in developing and designing your website. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in-person, in fact you will want to see that your design team knows how to use modern technology and connect with people across platforms and distance. Often web design companies are in fact a single person who has outsourced elements of the design process. If they hesitate at a request to meet the team, this could indicate that this is perhaps a sole proprietor. You want to choose a company with a diverse team with a depth of experience in a variety of areas who are used to working together, collectively and creatively. Ideally, you’re looking for a web design company with an in-house team of experts. 

Shortlist three to five web design companies based on the quality of their work. Now, get in touch with all of them to discuss your needs and goals, and see what they have to offer to you. 

 

 

  • Contact the Shortlisted Companies 

Shortlist three to five web design companies based on the quality of their work. Now, get in touch with all of them to discuss your needs and goals, and see what they have to offer to you. 

A good website design company takes its time to fully understand its clients before proceeding with work. This entails understanding the nature of their business, their client base, needs, wants, and goals. Another sign of a good web design agency is that it listens to you and answers all your questions without getting irritated. Also, the best design companies come up with custom-made designs and do not use templates that are readily available online and used by most.  

Pro-Tip: This step requires a bit of legwork on your end but will be worth it in the long run. Have an idea of the kind of things that you like and don’t like in a website. Perhaps you’ve seen something on a website that you thought was particularly well done, or something you thought was awful. It doesn’t have to be from within your industry. However, taking a good look at your competitor’s websites and observing if there is anything in their web design that you strongly like or dislike can give you a clear idea of what it is you’re looking to do with your own website.  

By this point, you must have gotten a good idea about which company can be the best to work with. You are ready to make a choice, but before you do that, make sure (for the last time) that you are going in the right direction. 

 

Questions to Ask a Web Design Company to Ensure It Is the Right Choice 

 

Here are some questions that will help you determine their tech-savviness and the quality of services: 

  • What CMS (Content Management System) do they work on? 
  • Do they offer ongoing optimization and maintenance services? They should! 
  • Will they optimize your website for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? They should! 

Some Signs of a Good Web Design Company 

  • They listen to your ideas but also come up with their own 
  • They use responsive web designs 
  • They have a portfolio 
  • They keep up with the latest design trends, and this shows in their work 
  • Their work shows their creativity and its range 
  • They offer good customer support 

 

The Final Word 

 

As clichéd as it may sound, it is true that your website is your digital storefront. According to the 2017 Global Online Consumer Report, it is the most common source of product awareness for customers. Furthermore, a research survey found that 48% of digital buyers consider website design as the most important factor in determining a business’s credibility. Because of all these factors, it is only wise to take your time when choosing who you want to work with to create or redesign your business’s website.  

Does all this sound like too much work? 

Get in touch with Web Geeks – one of the best web design Windsor companies. We not only have a team of professional website designers that are the best at their work but also have years of experience working with a wide range of businesses all over the world. We know what it takes for a website to stand out in the highly competitive and crowded digital world, and we can do it for you. Contact us to learn more about our process and to discuss your needs and goals. 

Image Credits 

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac8OOeaIgFo?rel=0

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As a business, you know how important social media is in order to grow your business. However, managing your business’ social media accounts can be a frustrating experience. No matter what you do, you find it difficult to grow your social media audience. You’re posting every day, yet the amount of likes on your pages are staying stagnant.

Luckily, The Geeks are here to give you a few tips on how to grow your social media audience. It’s actually very simple – think in terms of the user. There are many simple ways you can be growing your social media audience. All you need to do is put in some time and effort!

 

Boost Your Posts

The easiest way to grow your social media audience is to put some money into it! Boosting your post is quick, simple and efficient. In fact, by boosting your post you have the potential of reaching thousands of people who may have never even heard of your brand.

While the process of boosting your posts is easy, it’s also important to consider the content you are boosting. The mistake many companies make when boosting social posts is they use it as a form of advertisement. While this can be effective in some scenarios, it’s not always the best method to take when trying to build your social media audience. At the end of the day, people on social media don’t want to know they’re being advertised to. They want to follow brands based on their personalities, not their product. It’s a good idea to show off your brand personality in your boosted posts.

60/30/10 Rule

The 60/30/10 rule is the golden rule of social media posting and can help you build your social following due to the content distribution offered. The 60/30/10 rule is as follows: 60% Curated, 30% Owned, and 10% Promotional. Follow these rules and you will find more interaction in your postings as well as an increased following.

60% Curated means 60% of your postings will be from somewhere that is not your brand. This can be shared posts, retweets, articles you found online or videos. Now, just because it’s not your brand doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be relevant. If your company sells cars, then the content being shared should revolve around cars.

30% Owned is posting content that you’ve made. This can be blogs from your website, videos you’ve posted or images that you have created. This isn’t promotional content – this is content that the reader would be interested in viewing that’s not necessarily specific to the brand.

Lastly, 10% promotional is where you get to advertise your brand. Use this 10% to talk about your products, why the users need it and how it is competitive to other brands. Promotional content is meant to advertise, and allow you to sell the product to your followers.

Following this golden rule means people won’t get sick of your social presence. If you were to promote products all the time, why would anyone want to follow you? Again, people follow brands, not products. This means that on social media people are attracted to content they find interesting – they don’t want to be advertised to.

Be Active

Lastly, in order to boost your social media audience, you must be active in social media. When we say active, we don’t just mean post every day. While posting often is great, it isn’t everything. You have to play along with the social flow as well. You can’t just post and wait as the followers come in. You must be active and take part in social media.

What this means is spend some time liking pages. Let people know that you exist. Share other’s content, comment and like their posts. Make people aware of your presence on social media. Once people are aware of your existence, you’ll find that you’ll quickly gain more followers.

Social media marketing may seem easy for a brand, but in reality, it can be difficult to build a strong following. By following these tips, you’ll have an easier time growing your audience, and before you know it you will see your followers convert into sales! If you need help boosting your social media audience don’t hesitate – The Geeks are here to help!

SSL is what secures your website. When you create a website, it’s exciting when you start seeing the usability and functionality of it an action. It can be easy to forget the importance of website security – however, it’s incredibly important that you protect your website.

This is where SSL comes in. SSL stand for “Secure Sockets Layer” and should be added to all websites when being created. SSL is the standard security technology and adds an encrypted link between a web server and a website browser. Today we will be talking about the benefits of adding an SSL to your website.

What Exactly Is SSL?

SSL gives your website the extra security it needs. When an SSL is added to your website you can feel confident about transmitting information securely. This includes credit card info, passwords, and email addresses. This is because that adding an SSL makes it so that this isn’t transmitted through plain text which is what it would otherwise be transmitted in.

Website SSL is a security protocol first and foremost. What this means is that the protocol will describe how the algorithms will be used. This causes the encryption of the data being transferred and protects it.

Why Do I Need SSL?

The most beneficial aspect of adding an SSL certificate to your website is a sense of security. By adding an SSL to your website, you have the added comfort of safety and knowledge that your information will not fall into the wrong hands. However, this is not the only benefit to SSL.

The arguably most important reason that your site needs an SSL certificate added to the website is because of the trust you will receive back from your users. When a site is secured, it will show it in the URL, usually in the form of a lock symbol. Many internet users will look for this symbol when using a website. Showing that your website is secure is a priority for many users, especially with e-commerce websites. If the user is required to give any information, they need to know that information is safe.

How Does This Affect My SEO?

Over the past couple of years, Google has recommended SSL for SEO purposes and gives a ranking boost to HTTPS/SSL sites.  Google has stated that if all other factors are equal, HTTPS can act as a tiebreaker in the search engine results. Take note, because HTTPS is only a very small ranking signal – it won’t make you suddenly rank #1 for each and every keyword, but every little bit helps.

 

Building a new website is an exciting period of time. However, it’s incredibly important that the website you build is secure. Without the added security, your website can be at risk, and users may avoid your site altogether. However, if your site is not yet protected, don’t fret! The Geeks are here to help!

Consistency is key when it comes to making sure that your brand is as visible as it can be. Without consistency, it’s hard to build your brand to be the best it can be. But what steps need to be taken in order to ensure consistency? Today The Geeks will be giving you tips on how you can make sure your brand is consistent in order to benefit your local visibility!

 

NAP

You may have seen the acronym ‘NAP’ in business documents, articles or even just come up in conversation before. But do you know what it stands for? ‘NAP’ stands for ‘Name/Address/Phone Number’ and is easily the most important part of brand consistency.

When uploading your brand to directories, social media pages and search engines it’s important to keep your NAP consistent. Sounds easy right? Well what most people don’t know is even the smallest details can effect your consistency. For example, on Google you may have your business address listed as “111 Windsor Rd.” while on Bing you have it listed as “111 Windsor Rd”. That period can make all the difference in your brand’s consistency.

A good idea to combat these mistakes is to make an easily accessible document where you can simply copy and paste the information to different directories. That way, you can rest easy knowing that the exact same information is all across the internet. Staying consistent with your NAP can mean a huge boost in online visibility!

 

Imagery

Imagery is another important aspect in brand consistency. You see it all the time, even without realising it. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and many other brand advocates – what is something that they all had in common? What they had in common was consistency in their image – they wore the same thing to every event.

This can be applied to brands as well. Look at your website colors compared to your flyers, pamphlets or any other piece of content. Are the colors consistent? Are the designs consistent? Something as simple as design style or color can make or break your brand’s consistency.

 

Why Is Consistency Important?

So with all this being said, why is being consistent so important to a brand? It’s important because of the consumer – they want to know you. The benefit to being consistent is that it makes your brand recognizable. If you have uniform colors, those colors can be associated with your brand. You can even brand your address and phone number – it’s often seen on law firm advertisements

Having a consistent brand means that consumers will find it easier to associate certain things with you, and will also increase your visibility. Both these things are incredibly important to bettering your business and increasing sales! Remember, if you need help raising your local visibility The Geeks can help!

 

Have you noticed that your marketing initiatives aren’t going where you’d like them to go? The numbers you’re aiming for aren’t being achieved? This could all be resolved by creating buyer personas. Buyer personas make it simple to know who you’re targeting, how to target them and why they’re being targeted. By creating these personas, you can create marketing campaigns that will effectively gain the attention of your target audience.

 

What Are Buyer Personas?

Buyer personas are personality attributes that can be applied to different consumers. They are semi-fictional and are considered by using demographics, geo-locations and motivations/goals. When you create these buyer personas, they will tell you exactly why and how consumers that fit into each persona are purchasing your product or service.

This is because the personas you create are ‘people’ which have different traits. While all of these people are potential buyers, the reasons why they buy differ. This can be broken down to where they are, what they do for a living and their age, among other things. Creating these personas make it easier for you and your business to keep track of these things.

 

Why Are They Important?

Hopefully, you’re starting to see why creating buyer personas is so integral to a business’ success. This isn’t limited to any category of business – any business can create the personas that they want to target. But what makes them so important?

First of all, creating these personas eliminate the need for guessing. By creating these personas, each new potential customer or client can be placed into one of these personas. This will make it easier to sell the product to this potential client, as you know what these personas are trying to achieve.

It’s also important to create buyer personas as it helps guide you into what kind of content your business should be marketing. For example, when creating an emailing campaign, you’ll want to create a different email template for each persona. Each template will have different content, writing style and imagery based on the personas you’ve created.

 

Buyer personas are an extremely effective way of organizing content distribution as well as sell products. By creating personas, you will find it easier to market your products to the correct audiences. To learn more about buyer personas, Web Geeks is offering a free e-book!

Get Your Free Buyer Persona E-Book!




Hashtags – the most famous symbol to come from the rise of social media in the past decade. When social media was reaching peak popularity some years ago, it seemed like every post had a “#” attached to it. Now, however, you may find yourself very sparingly using the “#” symbol very sparingly. This may translate to your business practices – if you don’t use them why should your business?

But is this correct way of thinking? Or should your business still be using hashtags? Today we will be going just how prevalent the symbol of social media is.

 

People Have Learned to Use Them Correctly

The reason you think that hashtags are less relevant is because people are actually using them correctly now. When they were first becoming popular, people would utilize them in an improper way that made their posts seem busy. It’s not relevant to anyone’s interests to say, “I’m hungry #iwantpizza #someonebringmefood” – and people are starting to realize that.

With people learning to use hashtags properly, it makes things a lot easier for your business. For example, now people realize they are used for trends and use it accordingly. So, if you’re jumping on a trending hashtag, you know that it’s one that other users are actively using. This will increase the chance for your business to be seen.

 

Hashtags Are Used Differently On Different Networks

A huge mistake that people and businesses make is thinking that all social networks are the same when it comes to hashtags. This is simply not true. With the many different forms of social media, each has their own way to use hashtags beneficially.

A great example is Instagram compared to Twitter. Instagram, much like Twitter is one of the biggest social networking sites for hashtags. However, even though most posts have them, they’re used quite differently. While Twitter uses them to utilize a topic of conversation, Instagram uses them as a description. This means that while both utilize hashtags, they’re utilized very differently on each site.

 

It’s Not Going Away

Hashtags aren’t going anyone. There about 1 billion people using them in their social media posts every month, all of which are searchable. These are relevant to hundreds of different industries, topics, and ideas.  Following along with these can ensure that your business stays relevant with the low attention span of internet users. People who have never heard of your business can easily find you by searching these trends – don’t pass up the opportunity to be seen!

 

We here at Web Geeks know your busy running a business. If you need help running your social media, we can help!

PPC advertising is here to stay. You’ve heard a lot about why having a digital presence is so important, and it sounds appealing as for the most part, a lot of the things you can do digitally to better your business are free. However, what a lot of businesses put off is the actual advertising aspect of the digital realm. Utilizing PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising can yield in great results that can really boost your business’ profits.

But is it more effective than traditional methods? Is it worth the money you’ll be spending? Today we’re going to be talking about why PPC advertising is so important for your business.

It’s Cost Effective

The most appealing part of PPC advertising is how cost effective it is. When dealing with a PPC campaign, you get to choose how much you’re going to pay. You can set up a daily budget for as low as $5 per day and still see results.

It’s also extremely cost effective because unlike traditional advertising methods, you only pay when people are interested. Basically, the simple explanation of the way PPC advertising works is you can bid on keywords that work for your ad, meaning people will only see your ad when they search for the relevant keywords. This means you can focus on only spending money on keywords that generate profit.

Easier Targeting

If you put up a billboard or release a television ad, you don’t get to choose who you’re reaching. Sure, you get to pick the channel in which the advertisement airs, or where the billboard is placed, but do you really get knowledge on who is seeing it?

With PPC advertising you get to target exactly who is seeing your ads. We’ve already touched on keywords and how it allows you to choose where your ad is placed based off of what people are searching for. But with platforms such as Facebook Ads, you can even choose what demographic is seeing your ad. For example, if you’re selling a product to Chevrolet fans in Detroit that fall within the 25-34 age range – you can do just that. You won’t have to worry about irrelevant users seeing the ad and losing money to them!

Get the Results When You Need Them

One of the greatest benefits of digital advertising is the fact that you get the results back instantly. You can literally watch people click the ads in real time. This makes it so that unlike traditional advertising methods you can see the results and make the changes needed instantly. You don’t have to wait until after the campaign – if something’s not working, change it!

Your Competitors Are Using PPC Advertising

Lastly, the most compelling reason for using PPC advertising is the fact that your competitors are using it. No matter what industry you’re in, or what product you’re selling, you can almost guarantee that the most popular competitor is using PPC to their advantage.

If you’re behind in this aspect, you’ll see them overtake your profits and the gap will only increase over time. Digital isn’t going anywhere, so don’t fall behind. Invest in PPC advertising!

Remember, Web Geeks can help you with your PPC advertising! Contact us today!

The world of local SEO is constantly changing. The days are gone where you just create a business website, claim your business on Google and maybe sign up to some online directories in order to rank in the search results. Local SEO is important for your business as it will result in how many people can actually find your business when searching for things such as “electrician Detroit”. It has gotten more challenging to rank with local SEO – but it isn’t impossible.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is just like normal search engine optimization – it determines how you rank on search engine result pages. However, the key difference is local SEO is refined to the local search results. For example, if you live in Detroit and search “best coney hot dog” it will show the best-ranked restaurants within the local vicinity (Lafayette should be first).

Local SEO is important for local businesses because ranking higher on the search results means people are seeing your business before the competitions. People tend to search for places before going, as now with mobile it’s easier than ever. You want to make sure that these people are seeing your business when searching.

How To Improve Local SEO

Now that you have an understanding of what local SEO is and why it’s important for your business, it’s time to take steps to improve it. There are multiple actions you can take to improve your local SEO rankings. Here are a few of the best practices:

Verify your Google My Business listing: This is something that is simple do yet can have an incredible effect on your local SEO. When filling out your business listing on Google, make sure you fill out as much info as possible. Upload a logo, post your hours, payment methods and a description that includes many relevant keywords to your website.

Make blogs local: As you may or may not know, blogging is a great way of boosting your SEO. It’s an effective way of not only keeping up to date with relevant content but a way to plant more keywords into your website. In order to boost your local SEO, make the content relevant to your business’ area. For example, mention the city you’re in multiple times and plant it as a focus keyword.

Submit your site to local directories: Brand establishing is a very efficient way of boosting your local SEO. By implementing your citations to local business directories, you’re giving new sources for people to find your business’ name, address and phone number. Even if these citations aren’t linked, they are still incredibly useful for your local visibility.

Reviews: Lastly, reviews are a great way of boosting your local SEO. The more good reviews your business gets, the higher your business will rank. However be careful – too many reviews can be deemed “suspicious” by Google.

Local SEO is incredibly important, especially for small businesses. By implementing the correct methods, you can make your business rank high in the local search results. Of course, not all business owners have the time or the means to boost their SEO. If you need help, the Web Geeks are here!





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