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Why Social Media Can't Replace a Professional Business Website

In today's digital landscape, social media platforms have become powerful tools for businesses to connect with their audience, help with sharing content and assist in building a brand presence. From the quick scroll of an Instagram feed to lively discussions on Twitter or Facebook, social media undoubtedly has its merits. While these platforms offer a dynamic space for engagement, they can't replace the cornerstone of your online presence which is a professional business website.
Control and Customization
Social media platforms provide a predefined structure and design that can limit your ability to showcase your brand's uniqueness. A professional business website gives you complete control over the design, layout, and user experience. It's like having a digital canvas where you can craft a tailored experience that reflects your company's personality, brand identity, and values.
Owning Your Digital Space
Think of social media platforms as rented spaces in a bustling digital city. You're subject to the rules and algorithms of these platforms, which can change at any moment. A professional business website is a piece of digital real estate that you own. You decide the rules, the updates, and the content without worrying about algorithm shifts impacting your visibility.
Longevity and Stability
Trends come and go in the world of social media. What's popular today might be forgotten tomorrow. Your website is a stable and long-lasting foundation for your online presence. It stands the test of time serving as a reliable hub for your customers to find you regardless of shifting social media trends.
SEO Dominance
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for driving organic traffic to your online space. While social media profiles can appear in search results, a professional business website has more potential to rank higher and gain visibility. Your website's structure, content, and meta tags can be optimized strategically to ensure you're found when potential customers search for relevant keywords.
Comprehensive Content Depth
Social media platforms are designed for quick interactions and concise content. When you have a complex message to convey or a wealth of information to share, a website offers the space to dive deep. From detailed product descriptions to informative blog posts, a website accommodates a breadth of content that social media can't match.
Conversion Power
While social media might be the starting point of engagement, a professional business website is where conversions happen. Whether it's making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form, your website's dedicated pages are designed to guide users through the desired actions.
Though social media is a valuable tool for engaging your audience and expanding your reach, it cannot replace the essential role of a professional business website. Your website serves as the anchor of your online presence, offering control, customization, longevity, SEO dominance, comprehensive content depth, and the power to convert. By integrating both platforms strategically, you can create a holistic online strategy that leverages the strengths of each, ensuring your business thrives in the digital age.
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The Significance of a Well-Designed Website for Your Church

In an age where the internet is a doorway to worlds both real and virtual, the significance of a well-designed website for your church cannot be overstated. It's more than just a URL; it's a digital sanctuary that welcomes and engages your congregation, a portal to your mission, values, and community. Let's delve into why a robust online presence is a must-have for every modern church, and explore practical tips for creating a website that truly resonates.

In today's fast-paced world, information travels at the speed of light. A website bridges the gap between your church and its members, offering a centralized platform for sharing schedules, events, and important announcements. Imagine the ease of finding service times, Bible study groups, and community events with just a few clicks.
  • Practical Tip 1: Keep your website updated with the latest information, ensuring that visitors can rely on it for accurate details.
First impressions matter, even in the digital realm. Your website is often the first encounter people have with your church, so it should mirror the warmth and authenticity that define your congregation. Design and aesthetics play a pivotal role here.
  • Practical Tip 2: Invest in a clean, user-friendly design that reflects your church's identity, making it easy for visitors to navigate and engage.
The digital age has revolutionized how we do many things, and giving is no exception. An online giving option provides convenience and transparency, allowing members to support the church's work from anywhere, at any time.
  • Practical Tip 3: Implement a secure online donation system and communicate its availability to your congregation.
Social media isn't just for memes and selfies; it's a powerful tool for outreach and community building. Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share uplifting messages, inspirational quotes, and even behind-the-scenes glimpses of church life.
  • Practical Tip 4: Create a social media calendar to maintain a consistent online presence, and encourage your members to share posts to expand your reach.
One of the most valuable aspects of an online presence is the data it generates. Website analytics provide insights into visitor behavior, allowing you to tailor your content and services to better meet the needs of your congregation.
  • Practical Tip 5: Regularly review your website analytics to identify popular pages, user demographics, and areas for improvement.
As the world evolves, so too must the ways in which we connect and communicate. A well-designed website isn't just an online brochure; it's an extension of your church's ministry, fostering connection, community, and growth. By implementing these practical tips, you can create a digital sanctuary that resonates with both current members and seekers alike, bridging the gap between the physical and digital dimensions of faith.

Remember, your website isn't just lines of code; it's a digital pulpit, a platform for sharing the timeless message of hope and love. So, embark on this digital journey with purpose, and watch your church's reach and impact expand beyond the pews.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your church website reflect your unique identity and mission.
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Why a Facebook Page is Not a Substitute for a Website

When it comes to promoting and representing your small business online, it's important to have a strong, professional presence. Many businesses today turn to social media platforms, like Facebook, to create that presence. However, using a Facebook page as your primary or only online presence can be a huge mistake. In this article, we'll go over the top ten reasons why using a Facebook page as your business website is a bad idea, and explore some alternative options for promoting your business online.

1. You don't own it.

One of the biggest drawbacks to using a Facebook page as your business website is that you don't actually own the page. It belongs to Facebook, and they can change it, remove it, or make it hard to find in search results at any time. This lack of control can be frustrating and potentially damaging to your business, especially if you've put a lot of time and effort into building up your Facebook presence.

2. You eliminate non-Facebook users.

While Facebook has over two billion users, there are still plenty of people who don't use the platform, particularly in younger and older demographics. By relying solely on a Facebook page for your online presence, you risk eliminating these potential customers. While it's true that not everyone uses social media, it's important to consider all potential channels for reaching your audience.

3. SEO options are limited.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of improving the ranking of a website in search engine results. While it's possible to optimize a Facebook page to an extent, you are limited in the keywords you can target and the content you can post. Additionally, a Facebook page will only show up in search results once, while a website with multiple pages has the potential to show up multiple times. This can make it harder for potential customers to find your business online.

4. You may have to pay for ads to get seen.

Facebook is in the business of making money, and they use a "freemium" model to do it. While creating a Facebook page and posting updates is free, the reach of those posts is often quite limited. In order to get your posts seen by a larger audience, you may have to pay for ads. While this may not be a significant cost for some businesses, it's important to factor it into your marketing budget.

5. Functionality is limited.

On a Facebook page, you can post updates, upload photos, and use Facebook Messenger to chat with customers. However, the functionality of a Facebook page is quite limited compared to a website. A website allows you to create forms, add e-commerce functionality, and create custom pages and posts with a wider range of formatting options.

6. There's no sales funnel.

A sales funnel is a series of steps that a potential customer goes through on their way to making a purchase. On a website, you can use calls-to-action, landing pages, and other tactics to guide users through the sales process. With a Facebook page, you don't have the same level of control and therefore don't have the same ability to guide users towards making a purchase.

7. Content is limited.

While it's possible to write an "About Us" section and post updates on a Facebook page, there isn't really a place to post in-depth content that can draw in users and improve your search engine ranking. A website, on the other hand, allows you to create blog posts, articles, and other types of content that can help you attract and retain customers.

8. You can't brand the page.

On a Facebook page, you can add a cover image and upload a profile picture, but you can't really brand the page beyond that. A website, on the other hand, allows you to choose your own color scheme, fonts, and design elements to create a cohesive and professional look.

9. Searching for content is difficult.

On a website, you can save, organize, and make pages and posts searchable. This makes it easy to find and refer back to older content. On a Facebook page, the options for saving and organizing content are much more limited, and there is no way to export your content. This makes it difficult for both you and your customers to find and refer back to older posts.

10. Analytics and data are lacking.

Finally, the analytics and data available on a Facebook page are not as robust as those on a website. While Facebook does provide some information on the reach and engagement of your posts, it's not as detailed or customizable as the analytics you can get from a website. This makes it harder to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions about your business.

A Facebook business page should be used in addition to a website, not as a substitute for one.

If you want to grow your business online, it's essential to have a professional website in addition to a Facebook page. A website allows you to promote your brand, fully showcase your products or services, create a sales funnel, and track your marketing efforts through detailed analytics. While it may seem easier and cheaper to use a Facebook page as your primary online presence, the limitations of a Facebook page make it a poor choice in the long run.

That's where our web design firm comes in! We specialize in creating affordable, professional websites for businesses of all sizes. Our team of experienced designers and developers will work with you to create a website that perfectly reflects your brand and meets your business goals. And, once your website is up and running, you can use your Facebook page to promote it and drive traffic to your site.

Don't settle for a limited online presence. Invest in a professional website and take your business to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business succeed online.
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7 Signs You Need a New Website for Your Business

The first and oldest web domain on the internet is, founded in 1985. And even they updated their look and feel to keep up with modern search and user trends.

Web design might sometimes seem like an unnecessary expense for some small business owners. In fact, it's quite the opposite. User habits and Google search algorithms change regularly. You're missing out on valuable traffic (and potential customers)  if you're not consistently modernizing your website.

But how do you know when it's time to upgrade—or build your first site? Below, we highlight 7 signs or reasons a small business needs a new website.

Read on to see if they apply to you!

1. You Still Don't Have a Website

Shockingly, a large number of small businesses in America don't have a website at all.

It might be okay if your business is an independent gas station in a high-traffic area, but it poses a significant problem for anyone else. You're missing out on many potential leads if you don't have a website.

Thankfully, this is a problem that you can resolve quickly. There's never been a better time to access affordable website design. Today, websites are reasonable to host, affordable and quick to design, and easy to maintain—so long as you work with a savvy provider.

2. Your Current Website is Ugly or Outdated

The adage goes: Never judge a book by its cover. Well, that doesn't work so well when it comes to your online presence.

The main goal of your website is to attract and engage visitors, encouraging them to interact with your website the way the entity hosting the website needs them to. This might be to buy a product (an e-commerce business), request a service quotation (a plumber or roofer), or make an appointment (a doctor's office). However, one study found that close to 40% of visitors will discontinue their time on a website if they think it's, well, ugly.

So, if your website looks like it's from 2013 instead of 2023, it's time to invest in a website redesign—ASAP!

3. Your Website Is Not Mobile Friendly

You're probably glued to your smartphone. After all, the average user spends over 3 hours A DAY scrolling socials, websites, emails, podcasts, and more on their phone.

Well, it's not a wild assertion to suggest your customers are doing the same thing. And you need to make sure your company website works great on a desktop and adapts to the smaller screens people now use.

And that's because nearly 60% of web traffic comes from a mobile device—a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Thankfully, most website builders today use responsive design technology, making it easy to adapt to this new reality.

4. You're Not Getting the Results You Expect From Your Site

You've nailed that all-important first impression. Your website looks great on mobile. Yet, you're still not attracting those all-important leads—at least, not as many as you'd hoped.

If your conversions are low, it could be because your website design isn't optimized to aid your customer's journey through your sales funnel. They might find you, but once they're on your site, they're getting lost in where to go or what to do next.

A redesign with a focus on clear calls-to-action can help you achieve your conversion goals.

5. Business Is Slow, and Sales Are Stagnating

You've had a legitimate business for a long time, and once, your website served you well. People could find you, and they'd contact you via phone or the contact form on your website to enquire about your services.

Today, those people just aren't coming. So what's going on?

Your aging website is likely not optimized for inbound marketing. You must ensure it includes places where you can provide your visitors with educational and helpful information that addresses their pain points and helps them trust your expertise.

6. You Have a High Bounce Rate

Google Analytics defines a bounce rate as the percentage of people who visit a single page on your website. This essentially means the analytics program is counting the number of people who only stay on the website they first click through to—say, from the Google search results page—and then click away from your website immediately or a short time later.

A high bounce rate is considered anywhere between 56% to 70% (or above). You can read this as your website not having enough relevant content to keep visitors interested and exploring.

To remedy this, you need to upgrade your website, so it offers people somewhere to go next at all stages of their experience.

7. Your Website Isn't Secure

If your website fails on security, it will get downvoted in Google searches. And this means no one will find you. Also, if visitors perceive your website as unsafe, they're unlikely to trust you.

Modern websites need an SSL certificate at a minimum. This is a fundamental trust signal for visitors and Google. However, some small businesses may need to consider upgrading to something even more encrypted, especially if they collect personal client data.

We Build Small Business Websites That Work

If you think you need a new website, trust your gut. If it's telling you "yes," you probably needed to invest yesterday. If even one of the points above resonates with you, it's time to invest in an upgrade.

Perhaps your customers complain they can't find what they need on your website. Maybe you're worried clients aren't finding you online at all! Can you navigate properly or upload new content onto your website?

Contact our agency to discuss your new website today. We specialize in affordable web solutions and small business websites that are effective, optimized, and secure.
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Why DIY Site Builders are Bad for Small Businesses

Do you need to build a website for your small business and are considering building one yourself?

If you don't yet have one, building a small business website is very important. Unfortunately, many people think that it's something that they can build on their own. Only after making a low-quality website do they realize that they would have been better off leaving it to the professionals.

If you want to find out why building a DIY website is a bad idea for your small business, read on and we'll tell you what you need to know.

1. It’s Not as Easy as It Appears

There are many programs and platforms whose marketing suggests that building your website is an easy thing to do. They make promises that you can build your website in a day or less without technical knowledge. This is why so many people who do not know how to build a business website choose to take it upon themselves to build.

Unfortunately, only after investing in software and programs do people realize that it's not as easy to build a small business website as they thought it would be. They get stuck with a half-built website that they don't know how to finish.

2. There Are Always Hidden Fees

No matter what platform you use to build your DIY website, you're going to face hidden fees. One of the most frustrating things that people face when they're trying to design a business website on their own is the expenses that they don't realize they have to pay.

It's easy to get excited when you find a website platform that advertises itself as an all-in-one easy solution for building a business website. But many people don't realize until after buying a subscription that they also have to invest in things like domain names, hosting and SSL certificates.

Many people also don’t realize they have to renew their subscriptions every year to keep their websites live. And if they help with updates, the fees are considerably high.

These hidden costs add up. In the long run, it's more affordable for most businesses to have hired professional help to build their website.

3. You Get What You Pay For

Your business is not going to stand out from the competition if it doesn't have an effective brand. It's hard to have a brand that stands out on your business' website when you choose to build it on your own.

The reason for this is that most people who choose to build their website for their small business are not experienced designers. When you do this, it's nearly impossible to make sure that your brand website looks professional and stands out from the rest.

It’s also easy to fall for low prices. Sure, building a website might be slightly less expensive than hiring a professional, but you get what you pay for. Those low prices tend to come with basic features and capabilities that won’t deliver the results you need to grow your business online.

4. It’s Easy to Waste Time in Learning to Navigate New Platforms

Even if tools such as website builders make it easy to drag and drop your needed elements onto a digital canvas to construct elements of your site, there are still many important things that you need to know how to do.

For example, if you choose to build a website on WordPress by investing in a costly theme, you still have to know how to download and install the theme. You also need to know how to navigate the WordPress platform to install add-ons, such as spam blockers and contact forms.

You need the training to do these kinds of things. If you don't yet have the training, you'll have to spend your valuable time learning how to do them before you can even get started building your website.

5. You Won’t Create the Right First Impression

As your business' most important tool for advertising, you want to make sure that your website is the best that it can be. It's the place that your potential customers will find out about important things, such as your stories, services, products, and where you're located.

This is why, when it comes to your website, first impressions are more important than ever. Before they even navigate beyond the homepage of your website, they're going to form an opinion about your brand. And this is why it's essential that you grab their attention within the first couple of seconds that are on your website.

Professional website designers know exactly how to do this. On the other hand, those who choose to build their own websites will have to find out how to do this through trial and error. In the meantime, they'll probably lose many valuable leads.

6. You Won’t Have Search Visibility

Most people who are trying to design a business website on their own think that the actual design of the website is all that matters. What they don't realize is that this is only one of many important things that you need to know how to do if you want to build the best possible website.

Something that is equally important as designing a website is search engine optimization (SEO). Though there are website builders that claim to have SEO tools, these tools are usually very basic. They do not offer the types of features that a small business needs.

Skilled professionals know how to do things, such as writing search-friendly content for the websites they're building. This will make sure that potential customers can find your business online.

7. You Won’t Have Support While Building a Small Business Website

Did you know that those who design their websites spend less than a quarter of their time actually designing it and more than three-quarters of their time troubleshooting problems that come up? Small business owners who decide to build their websites don't take this into account.

Only afterward, when it's too late, do they realize how difficult it is to find the support they need when technical issues arise. If you're building your website on your own, expect glitches. And be ready to spend endless hours trying to figure things out that go wrong.

8. Your Site Won’t Be Optimized

Small businesses need websites that are secure and that have performance speeds that are fast enough to handle high traffic volumes. One of the worst things that can happen to your website is that it crashes at a key moment when you need it the most.

This is why professionals offer technical solutions to these problems by optimizing your website. By hiring a pro, you'll have peace of mind in knowing that your website will be dependable. You'll also have to figure out confusing details, such as SSL certificates.

9. The Site Will Be Costly to Make Changes To

Those who are trying to build their own website only realize afterwards how difficult it is to make changes to the site they've made. They make the mistake of thinking that they'll improve their site later on by hiring a web designer. The problem is most web designers will insist that you rebuild your site on the platform they use.

If they would have simply had their website designed by professionals from the start, it would have saved them lots of money.

10. Your Time Is Better Spent on Other Things

Chances are that you've got a long list of things that you need to accomplish every day that you show up for work. If you're a small business owner, you should be focusing your energy on growing your business.

If you decide to build your website, you'll be distracting yourself from the things that matter most to you and your business. If you're not trained as a web designer, why spend your time trying to be one?

11. The Pros Do It Better

A web designer who knows what they're doing can take the burden off your shoulders. You'll have less to worry about, since you can put your trust in somebody who has many years of training and experience in building websites.

You'll also save money in the long run because professionals know how to build a website that can convert visitors into paying customers.

Don’t Waste Time Building Your Own Website

If you've been thinking about building a small business website on your own, keep in mind that it's not as easy to do as it might seem. You'll have to pay hidden fees, and will probably have to spend many hours troubleshooting problems that will come up. Why not hire professional help to build your website instead?

If you’re interested in learning more about the advantages of hiring our web design firm, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here for anything that you might need. 
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8 Things Every Small Business Website Needs

If you run a small business, no matter what it is that you do, or where you’re located, you need a website. Small business websites are crucial for online visibility, branding, and driving sales, but only if you've got good web design.

To make a high-quality website for your business, you need to know what core features to include. This post will discuss some of the most essential elements that should always be at the forefront of your small business website design.

Whether you’re launching your first small business website or going through a rebrand, your website has to be perfect. Keep reading and we'll show you how to make it happen.

1. Good Domain Name

Your web address is as important as the address at your brick-and-mortar location. It should be concise and easy to remember, but descriptive enough to give a sense of what you do.

A domain name should also be easy to spell. If your visitors misspell your web address, you risk losing out on leads and customers. Registering your domain is the first thing that you'll do when you start your business website, so take your time and come up with an original domain that you'll have for years to come.

2. Professional Design

First impressions matter, even when people are looking for your business online. The best way to make a good impression on your visitor is to have a clean, professional-looking website that shows them what you do.

When it comes to design, having visual elements that represent your brand and what you offer is important. Including eye-catching images and videos on each page of your site will ensure that you hold their attention throughout their visit.

You have to strike the right balance between functionality and attractiveness, however. If you include too many images or videos, you risk slowing your page load times. When your site takes too long to load, you're going to lose people.

3. Easy Navigation

Clarity is an underrated aspect of website design, but something that is essential to user experience (UX). When a consumer visits your website, you've only got a few seconds to capture their attention. Without simple and effective navigation that accounts for UX, they'll go elsewhere.

To make a user-friendly site, you have to think like the consumer. Most likely, they're on your page because they're looking for products or services that you offer. It should always be easy to find this type of information with a few quick clicks.

The way you set up your menus and landing pages determines how navigable your site will be. Navigation should be clear and to the point. If you've got a confusing website, it's failing you and your customers.

4. Mobile Friendliness

Around 70% of web traffic these days actually comes from mobile devices. For that reason, your online platform had better be responsive to any and every mobile device.

Create a mobile-optimized site by experimenting with things like page size and menu formats. Navigating a mobile site should be simpler and more to the point than a desktop one. A good web designer will understand this and work with you to ensure that your mobile site is bringing people in, not driving them away.

5. Clear Calls to Action

Each landing page on your site should have a call to action that urges your visitors to do something specific. The action could be anything from filling out a contact form to signing up for your company newsletter. The call should be a simple and persuasive statement that makes it obvious what you want the customer to do next.

Put some thought into each action that you want the customer to take and how you can word your CTA. CTAs should have an immediate impact on lead generation and revenue, so experiment until you start to see tangible results.

6. Search-Friendly Content

Strong search engine optimization (SEO) is an important byproduct of having a good website. When your website appeals to SEO criteria, you'll rank higher on Google searches. You always want to be the business that shows up on the first page of the SERP.

There's a lot that goes into SEO, but one of the most important things has to do with your content. Search-friendly content uses the right keywords for your niche, but the content has to engage the reader as well.

With a steady stream of entertaining and informative content, you'll make an impression on your visitors and give them a reason to come back. You can also inject CTAs in your content to direct them to other landing pages.

7. Accessible Contact Info

Never make it difficult for people to contact you. Your site should have a separate tab that takes them to a contact page complete with your address, phone number, email, social media accounts, and a lead generation form.

Make sure to refer to and link to your contact page as much as possible on other landing pages as well. You can even take it a step further and put contact info in the header, footer, or sidebar of other pages.

8. Testimonials

90% of customers trust reviews and testimonials more than what a business says about itself. It's important to include a testimonials section on your website so new visitors can see what other customers are saying about you.

Anytime you have a happy customer, urge them to leave you a positive review to use as a testimonial. Not only is this going to help build trust with new customers, but the more reviews you have on other listings sites, the better it is for your SEO ranking.

Need Help With Your Small Business Website Design?

Now that you know what aspects of web design are most crucial for small business websites, it's time to discuss the importance of a professional web designer. A good web design company will ensure that your business site is helping you instead of hindering you.

At our agency, we make beautiful small business websites that are SEO-optimized, mobile-ready, and offer real-time traffic stats. The best part of it all is, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Our process is simple. First, we learn a bit about your business, then we start working on your design ASAP. Once you approve the design, we connect you to your domain and start helping you complete and launch your site.

Contact us today to learn more about our process and to get started on your new business website.
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How To Respond to Online Reviews (Good and Bad)

93% of surveyed shoppers make buying decisions based on online reviews. That's a huge percentage! If you run a business, your reviews are vital to your success.

You may think that you're sure to only ever get positive reviews because your products or services are fantastic, so you shouldn't bother monitoring them. In reality, knowing how to track and how to respond to online reviews is a must. One bad review can make a huge negative impact.

You need to have a reputation management strategy in place and you need to know what to do when good or bad reviews start popping up. Let's talk about it! Read on to learn all about responding to online reviews (good and bad).

Why Is It Important to Respond to Reviews?

There are many reasons that you, as a business owner, should be responding to both positive and negative reviews. That's right, even positive reviews deserve responses!

While responding to positive reviews gets less valuable as time goes on, in the beginning, it will help you establish yourself as responsive and kind. Responding to negative reviews is important long-term.

Here are a few (but not all) of the reasons why it's so important for business owners to respond when they get a good or bad review online.

It Improves or Solidifies Your Online Reputation

Your reputation is everything as a business owner. You could have the best products or services, but with a bad reputation, you still won't gain customers. Public opinion is a driving factor behind your success.

Let's say you're not paying a lot of attention to your reviews and they're starting to lean negatively. Your star rating has gone down. Every low rating or negative review is a sign to potential customers that your business isn't worth using.

When you respond to negative reviews, you show customers that you're making an effort to improve. Even if nothing needs improvement, you're clearing the air so that the commenter doesn't have the final word.

When you respond to positive reviews, you're showing customers that you're listening to them.
Both of these things will make huge improvements to the reputation of your business and online branding.

You'll Build Trust and Relationships

Part of owning a business is building relationships and trust with your customers. Responding to reviews (both negative and positive) is a great way to do that.

When you respond to someone who's upset with your products or services, you're showing them that you want to make it right (or at the very least, explain the situation). Someone who was previously angry may calm down and see you and your business in a better light. You can regain their trust.

You'll Give Yourself an Opportunity to Grow and Learn

Reviews are gifts. Even negative reviews are opportunities for growth, so try to see them that way. They may feel like personal attacks (and in some rare cases, they may be), but they're learning experiences.

When you actively engage with a negative review, you're letting an unhappy customer teach you something that may improve your business. At the very least, you're learning an important lesson in politely and respectfully communicating with others.

Some Tips for How to Respond to Online Reviews

Responding to online reviews is tricky. There are infinite possible responses you can give, but if you want to make a good impression, you have to be careful.

Remember, you're representing your business. Your response will determine how customers see you, and it may sway them toward or away from your business.

Here are a few helpful tips that can improve your responses to online reviews.

1. Respond Quickly

It's important to respond as quickly as possible (without being too rash). When you let a bad review stay up for too long without responding to it, more people will see it. This is bad for your reputation.

You may also forget about it. It's easy for reviews to slip your mind when you have so many other responsibilities as a busy business owner.

Take a brief amount of time to decide how you're going to respond. While you should respond quickly, don't let yourself be careless. Give yourself time to cool off (if the review was inflammatory) and decide what the best response would be.

Ignoring bad reviews won't make them disappear, especially if you don't have many reviews to start with. Even if you're feeling anxious, responding within a few days (if not a single day) is a good move. Get it over with.

2. Learn From Your Reviews

When you get a review, try to take something from it.
If the review is positive, keep in mind what you're doing right and make a note to continue doing it (or even expand upon it).

If the review is negative, determine what you can change. In some cases, negative reviews aren't actually your fault, but don't jump to that conclusion right away.

3. Be Polite

Politeness is key when you're responding to online reviews regardless of whether they're positive or negative. Even if a review is downright mean or inappropriate, you need to stay as professional as possible.

You have your reputation to consider. While it's tempting to respond to negative reviews with the same energy the customer used, you're running a business. Consider how that would look to other people.

Your response is public, so it's best to take the high road.

This can also help you diffuse the situation. Often, people who leave negative reviews just want to know that someone is hearing their concerns. When you respond with kindness, their motivation to "fight it out" may dissipate and they may open themself up to a rational and calm interaction.

Use restraint.

Some brands can get away with "sass" in their responses, but this is a risky move and that sass has to be part of their preexisting brand image. It's also carefully crafted, not just an "off-the-cuff" remark.

4. Keep It Brief

For both positive and negative reviews, it's best to be brief (while still being thorough).

For positive reviews, a quick "thanks!" and perhaps a CTA of some sort (such as asking the customer to tell their friends or check your shop later for new products) is more than enough to make an impact. Most people don't expect responses to positive reviews at all, so you will stand out.

For negative reviews, you will need to go into more detail, but not too much. Make sure you address the problem, apologize, and give your customer steps to take.

It's often best to save the longer conversations for private messages or emails so you don't draw too much attention to the review but you still pay enough attention to the customer.

If you are defending your business against a troll comment, you may have to go into more detail, but just offer enough information to clear the air. Remember that most people won't sit and read long comments, so you don't gain anything from writing several paragraphs in response.

5. If It's Negative: Make It Right

If someone leaves a negative review (and the review is legitimate, of course), you're being given a great opportunity to make things right. How will you do that?

Again, it's often best to take this conversation into private messages or emails to make sure you can fine-tune your next steps to the disgruntled customer's needs.

Sometimes being heard is enough and the customer won't want anything else. Telling them that you're going to make changes to ensure the problem never happens again can be comforting.

In other cases, you may want to offer a coupon, replacement item, or service (depending on what it is your business offers). Note that discounts, replacements, or "freebies" might seem bad for business, but this isn't the case if it means salvaging your reputation and making a customer happy.

6. Be Authentic and Empathetic 

Customers value honesty and authenticity. While you should be professional in all of your responses, you should also be human. Many customers respond negatively to responses that seem too "corporate" because they seem inauthentic.

Connect with your customers and you'll gain their trust.

Responding to Online Reviews Is Essential

Learning how to respond to online reviews is tough, and it will be a trial-and-error process. As you progress, you'll discover the best ways to communicate with both happy and unhappy customers while maintaining your professionalism and your reputation.

Speaking of your reputation, are you in need of a reputation management strategy? We want to help. Learn more about our services so we can start working together today.
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Why Reputation Management and Online Reviews Are Important in Business

Does your company have a great reputation among consumers? If it doesn't, it could be hurting your business even more than you might realize.

One recent report suggested that a company's reputation can account for more than 60% of its total value. As a result, your business might not be worth as much as it would be worth otherwise simply because of its reputation.

With all of this in mind, reputation management is going to be of the utmost importance for your company. You need to keep a close eye on your online reviews, including both positive and negative reviews, to make sure your company has the best reputation possible.

Today, we're going to talk at length about what makes reputation management and online reviews so important to your company. Learn all about it below.

People Have Come to Trust Online Reviews in a Big Way

Before people patronize a business, they will usually sneak a quick peek at its online reviews. It doesn't matter if they're looking for a good place to eat dinner or trying to find somewhere to buy a car. They'll use online reviews to guide their decision.

People do this because many of them have come to trust online reviews as much as they trust their family and friends. One survey found that more than 80% of people currently trust online reviews as much as those in their immediate circles.

This alone should illustrate just how important reputation management is going to be for your business. If you don't have great online reviews to show to people, it isn't going to bode well for your business since they may feel like they can't trust you to do right by them.

Positive Reviews Will Make People Feel Good About Patronizing Your Business

When people look up your business and read through the online reviews for it, what are they going to find? This should be the first question you ask as part of your reputation management push.

If you see that they're going to come across nothing but positive reviews for the most part, it'll be a great sign. People are going to feel good about utilizing your company's products and/or services when it seems like you've provided other people with wonderful experiences.

Your ultimate goal should be to rack up as many positive reviews as you possibly can over time. It's going to give your business a good reputation and make more people want to patronize it.

Negative Reviews Will Make People Think Twice About Using Your Business

If people don't see one positive review after another when they read through online reviews for your business, it could doom your company from now on. The more negative reviews that your business has, the less likely people are going to be to call on your company for its products and/or services.

You will want to actively work to reverse this trend ASAP. You should put together a reputation management plan that will include addressing any negative reviews you receive and striving to get more positive reviews to push the negative ones to the bottom of the list.

Negative Reviews Can Provide Your Business With a Big Opportunity

If your company has received some negative reviews in the past, it's obviously not going to be a good thing for your business. But it's also not going to be the end of the world.

You should look at these negative reviews as opportunities to show how much your company cares about its customers. It would be worth responding to as many negative reviews as you can so that you're able to make things right with unhappy customers.

If nothing else, this will show other people that you run a company that does its best to make things right when customers aren't satisfied. This could yield positive results for your business reputation in the end.

No Online Reviews Could Be as Bad as Negative Reviews for Your Business

If you find that your company doesn't have many small business reviews at all, this could be almost as bad as having a bunch of negative reviews. It's going to make it appear as though you haven't done enough to give people a reason to leave positive reviews for you yet.

It might also make it seem as though your small business is just getting off the ground, even if that might not necessarily be the case. You should start to encourage your customers to leave reviews for you so that you're able to build up a collection of them over time.

It Doesn't Have to Be Difficult to Manage Your Business Reputation

Reputation management feels like such a tall task to many small business owners. They aren't sure where they should start when it comes to monitoring their reputation and working to improve it.

If you fall into this category, our firm offers reputation management services to small and medium size businesses. We'll work to get your business the online reviews that it deserves and ensure that your reputation is every bit as good as it should be.

Call on Us to Assist You With Reputation Management

Do you need a hand with reputation management? If so, our company can provide you with the services that you need to improve your business reputation by leaps and bounds.

You'll be able to make your business reputation better over time by using online reviews to your advantage. It'll work wonders for your business and require very little effort on your part.

Get started today by getting in touch with us to learn more about our reputation management services.
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7 Reasons Why Small Business Websites Are Vital

A website is a vital component to a small businesses’ success. However not an website will do. About one in five small business websites struggle to generate traffic to their website. Meanwhile, 57% of users won't recommend a company with a poor mobile web design. If your website doesn't offer a positive experience, you could lose potential customers.

With our affordable website design services, you can stand out from competitors, generate awareness, and attract fresh leads and sales.

On the fence about investing in your business website this year? Read on to discover the top 7 reasons why a strong website is beneficial to your company's success today!

1. Keep Your Doors Open

Most retail businesses only remain open for part of the day; not 24/7. Each day your brick-and-mortar store's doors close, you miss opportunities to make sales. Your business website can keep your virtual doors open at all times.

Marketing your business around the clock will help you appeal to a wider audience of customers. Consumers can visit your website to learn about your business, mission, and offerings. If you have an eCommerce website, you can even make sales when your store is closed.

You can maximize sales by using your business website as the foundation of your overall marketing strategy.

For example, you attract visitors to your website using Google, social media, and other online platforms. Consumers can learn about your business from each touchpoint to decide if you align with their needs. Then, you can use a call-to-action on your website to turn those visitors into leads or sales.
In addition to adding eCommerce abilities to your website, you can also use an online form or chatbot to boost conversions.

Having a website benefits your overall marketing and sales objectives, allowing you to grow your business.

2. Generate Awareness

If consumers don't have a way to discover or learn about your business, you won't generate sales. Small business websites allow consumers to learn about the different options available.

As the foundation of your digital marketing strategy, you can use your website to generate awareness for your brand. Each time someone interacts with your brand, they'll have an easier time remembering who you are and what you do. However, it can take five interactions before someone recalls your business.
Learning about your business can also help people feel more comfortable with your brand. In fact, 82% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after reading personalized content. Over 60% are more likely to buy from companies that deliver unique content, too.

Consider working with our website design agency this year. We can infuse your visual brand across every page of your website.

In time, brand awareness will grow until consumers can recall your brand or associate it with your products and services. The next time they need your offerings, they'll think of your brand first. Then, you can generate leads and sales to help your business grow.

3. Convey Your Expertise

Remember, consumers feel more comfortable with businesses after reading personalized content. You can use your business website to share helpful, informative blog posts.

It’s important to work with a website design agency that can design and optimize your website for search engine optimization (SEO). SEO can help more people find your website and content. Then, you can start communicating your experience and expertise.

You could even position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Becoming a thought leader can help you demonstrate your credibility. Gaining credibility could encourage more people to trust your brand.

As people learn to trust your brand and expertise, they might rely on you for the products or services they need. You could have an easier time attracting new customers as a result.

4. Boost Your Rankings

In order to reach more people online, it helps to create an SEO marketing strategy. SEO will help your business appear higher on search engine result pages (SERPs). When someone searches for your product or service, your website might appear at the top of a SERP.

Appearing at the top of SERPs for different searches can help you rank ahead of competitors. In fact, small businesses can rank ahead of huge corporations using SEO. You can even the playing field to attract new people to your business.

Boosting your rankings will also help you generate more website traffic. Remember, as people visit your business website, they can learn more about your brand.

As you attract new visitors, you'll gain more opportunities to generate sales. Since SEO is a cost-effective marketing strategy, your ROI will improve over time, too.

5. Generate Loyalty

As people begin to trust and fall in love with your brand, they might become long-term, loyal customers. Encouraging brand loyalty will help you generate repeat sales.

You can spend less money on advertising and customer acquisition, allowing your ROI to improve.
You can even use your business website to host a brand loyalty program to encourage more people to make repeat sales.

6. Show Off Products

Consumers want to learn about your products and services. Our affordable website design services can help you show off your offerings.

Consumers will have an easier time recognizing the benefits and features you offer. You could have an easier time communicating your unique value proposition to stand apart from competitors.

If you accept online sales, you can even use your website to sell more products than ever before! For small businesses that book consultation appointments or reservations, consider using a scheduling app instead.

Either way, you can customize your website based on your needs to grow your business.

7. Gather Helpful Data

One of the top website benefits you'll experience is the data you can collect from your company website. You can use this data to learn:
  • What demographics your customers fall under
  • Which pages they visit
  • When they leave your website
  • What blog posts they read
  • Which products/services they prefer
The more data you gather, the more likely you can improve your digital marketing strategies. You can then generate more leads and sales to boost your ROI!

Small Business Websites are Vital: Invest in Affordable Website Design Today

Set your company up for success this year. Contact us to learn more about our affordable website design services for small businesses. With help from our website design agency, you can reach more customers online than ever before.

Leveraging our agency's experience and expertise will help you save valuable time and energy.

Eager to get started? We can't wait to help.

Let us build a website for your business. Get started with our professional designers today.
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How Often Should You Redesign Your Website?

A recent study found that 50% of consumers believe that website design is a fundamental factor in a business’s brand. Website design showcases your business’s style, attitude, and aesthetic.

However, small business websites aren’t forever. They need to be updated and redesigned just like any part of your business.

To help you, we’ve investigated everything you need to know about redesigning your website. That way, you can decide if your website needs to be redesigned or if it’s perfect the way it is.

Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s an in-depth look at website redesign:

Why Is Resigning Your Website Important? 

Redesigning your website helps improve viewers’ impression of your overall business. If the load time is slow or not mobile-friendly, some viewers may get frustrated.

Do you want your viewer’s first thought in relation to your company to be one of frustration? No, you want viewers to be intrigued, curious, and engage with your brand.

So don’t give viewers something to dislike before they get to your page. Redesigning your business website will help it stay trendy and up-to-date. That way, customers see your brand for what it has to offer.

When To Redesign Your Website 

Are you questioning whether your website needs a redesign but aren’t sure it’s the right time? Don’t worry; below, we’ve listed a few signs that your website is due for a redesign:

Website Loading Speed Is Slow or Isn’t Mobile Friendly 

If your website has a slow loading speed, that’s a sure sign that your website is out of date. Visitors expect the loading speed to be a maximum of 2 seconds; any longer will cause frustration and may lead visitors to exit the page.

If you want visitors to stay on your website, you must have a responsive and mobile-friendly design. Your website should automatically scale its content, photo and video graphics, and navigational buttons to the visitor’s phone screen size. If your website fails to do this, the visitor will not only be annoyed but think your company is outdated.

Thus, first impressions matter, especially when it comes to website design. Studies have shown that it only takes a visitor 0.5 seconds to decide if they will stay on the page. So if your website suffers from slow loading time or doesn’t have a mobile-friendly design, a redesign is needed immediately.

Your Website Lacks On-Page SEO  

Even if your website is responsive and professionally designed, it won’t benefit you if you lack the proper optimization. Your website needs to have search-engine-optimized keywords that will pull your website to the forefront of google searches. If you don’t, you’re making your website hard to find, decreasing traffic, and reducing customer conversion.

A redesign is crucial for the success of your website. When redesigning, make sure you update the landing page to have optimized keywords and always have a call to action.

You Have Low Conversion Rates 

If your website continues to receive traffic but has a low customer conversion rate, there’s a problem. Your website is obviously easy to find, but somehow it’s lacking something visitors want. Whether it be a clear understanding of your product, more payment methods, or interesting photos, there’s a reason why visitors aren’t converting to customers.

Keep in mind that a good website achieves your marketing goals. Meaning that your website should motivate visitors to explore your services, purchase your products, or contact you. If your website doesn’t fulfill your marketing goals and isn’t converting customers, a redesign is a must.

Content Is Not Relevant 

When was the last time you updated the content on your website? If the answer is over a year, then your website is due for a redesign. Studies show that over 71% of business owners redesign their websites after a year or two.

After all, your website is only as good as the content it displays. If you’ve recently changed your business address, business hours, or prices, they should be accurately reflected on your website. Not updating your website will confuse visitors and make the purchasing process that much more difficult.

The Website Design Looks Outdated 

Trends come and go, and as such, what’s seen as sleek and modern changes with the year. If your website utilizes a chunky or older template, then it’s time for a redesign.

Lately, websites that use negative space, intriguing transitions, and simple layouts get the most views and page time. So you’ll want to update your website to adhere to these new standards if you want to increase your views, page time, and customer conversion rates.

You’ll even want to be creative on your website and introduce your brand in a way that pulls the customer in rather than just stating facts. A good web designer can help you do just that.

Is it Time to Redesign Your Small Business Website?

Redesigning your website is often a hard decision. However, it’s important that your website is updated for visitors to look at and engage with. If your website is not mobile-friendly, lacks proper optimization, or is not relevant anymore, a redesign is needed.

Thankfully our team can help you redesign your small business website, so you can successfully reach more customers. We do it all, whether it’s helping you refresh the design or giving your site a complete overhaul.
If you’re still un
sure if you need to redesign your website, contact us today for a free consultation, and we’ll help you decide what’s best for your website.
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8 Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

According to a recent survey, about half of all American small businesses lack a solid marketing plan. Not having a plan in place is one of the biggest marketing mistakes that any small business can make.

If you're not marketing your business enough at this time, it could eventually lead to its demise. You're going to struggle to spread the word about your company without using small business marketing to your advantage.

There are also some other marketing mistakes that you might be making as a small business owner that can come back to bite you. Learn about eight of them below.

1. Failing to Create a Website for Your Small Business

These days, there is really no excuse for small businesses not to have websites. Websites are no longer an exception, they’re the expectation.

Yet, one recent report revealed that about 27% of small businesses are still operating without websites. These small businesses are likely hurting their bottom lines in a big way by failing to create websites.

If your small business is still operating without a website, you should do something to change that immediately. With our company, you can get a website for your company up and running in no time at all.

Even if you don't know the first thing about web design, our experts will help you get started on your website right away. Your website will quickly become one of your best marketing tools.

2. Ignoring the Importance of SEO When It Comes to Your Company's Website

It isn't enough to simply set up a website for your small business in this day and age. Once you create a website, you also need to make sure that you understand how important search engine optimization, or SEO, is.

SEO is a process that involves incorporating certain things into your website to make it easier for others to find it. By adding the right keywords, links, etc. to your site, you can help it to rank much higher on search engine results pages and ensure that plenty of people visit your site each month.

If SEO isn't a big part of your small business marketing strategy, you'll be making one of the worst marketing mistakes. You'll be missing out on an opportunity to bring in so much more traffic on a regular basis.

3. Forgetting to Establish a Social Media Presence for Your Small Business

While it's important for small businesses to set up websites and use them for marketing purposes, it's just as important for them to establish social media presence these days. Your company should have accounts on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.

Social media has provided small businesses with a brand-new way to connect to customers. It's also made it possible for them to create unique voices for their brands that separate them from the pack.

4. Misidentifying the Target Audience for Your Small Business

Who is the target audience for your small business? You can have the best small business website in the world and a wonderful social media presence, but if you don't know who your target audience is, all of your marketing efforts might miss the mark.

Before you begin trying to employ any marketing techniques on behalf of your small business, you should make sure you know who your target audience is. It'll enable you to cater your content to them to increase the chances of them patronizing your small business.

5. Letting Negative Online Reviews for Your Small Business Linger

Whether you like it or not, people who patronize your small business are typically going to leave reviews for your company. They'll do it through any number of review sites, and their reviews will impact your reputation.

If you're able to rack up almost nothing but positive reviews, that's awesome. You won't have to worry about doing anything other than thanking those who have taken the time to leave reviews for your small business in the first place.

But if you find that you've received a lot of negative reviews online, you should do something about it. You will either want to look into having these reviews removed if you don't feel as though they're legit or respond to these reviews to show that your company cares about input from your customers.

Whatever you do, you don't want to allow negative reviews to stick around for too long and make it seem as though your company doesn't care about them.

6. Spending Too Much Money or Not Enough Money on Small Business Marketing

To carry out your small business marketing plan, you will need to be prepared to spend some money on it. You should come up with a marketing budget and use it accordingly.

Just be sure that you're not spending too much money or not enough money on your small business marketing efforts. As a general rule of thumb, you will want to devote around 7% of your gross revenue to marketing to make the most of it.

7. Relying on Outdated Small Business Marketing Strategies

Are you using some of the marketing strategies that you learned about when you attended college in the early 2000s to run a small business in 2022? If you are, that alone is going to prove to be one of the biggest small business marketing mistakes that you're making.

The marketing world has changed quite a bit over the last few years, let alone the last 20 years. So you should try to avoid using any outdated small business marketing strategies. You'll be asking for trouble if you take this approach to marketing.

8. Marketing Your Business Without Analyzing the Results

Marketing your business is very important, but it isn't going to do you much good if you're not getting any positive results. It's why you should get yourself into the habit of analyzing the results of your marketing efforts all the time.

If you find that some aspect of your small business marketing plan isn't working, you'll need to make adjustments to it accordingly. Otherwise, it could lead to you spending a lot of time and money on a marketing strategy that isn't doing you much good at all.

Try Not to Make Any of These Crucial Small Business Marketing Mistakes

Marketing your small business in an effective way isn't always going to be easy. You'll need to work hard to avoid making any of the marketing mistakes listed here.

We can help you steer clear of at least some of them by providing you with affordable website design services and digital marketing solutions. We’ll set you up with the website you need to get your small business marketing plan off the ground.

Check out some examples of our work and contact us today to learn more about getting a website for your small business.