by Robert Long | Mar 22, 2023 | Online Business, Online Marketing Articles, SEO Related Articles
Reviews influence purchase decisions.
Online reviews have a significant impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions and your local SEO. According to a study by BrightLocal, 91% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. The same study also found that 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
The results above showed that a local business is more likely to get new customers and keep the ones it already has if it has good reviews. On the other hand, negative reviews can deter potential customers from doing business with a company.
Reviews boost search engine rankings.
Online reviews can also help local businesses improve their search engine rankings. Search engines like Google consider the number and quality of reviews a company has when ranking search results.
Positive reviews can improve a business’s search engine ranking, making it more visible to potential customers searching for products or services in their area.
Reviews help businesses improve.
Reviews provide valuable feedback to local businesses. They help companies to understand what they’re doing well and what they need to improve. Good evaluations can pinpoint a company’s advantages, while bad reviews can help businesses identify areas where their goods or services need improvement. Businesses can also use reviews to address customer complaints and improve customer service.
Reviews build trust and credibility.
Reviews can help local businesses build trust and credibility with potential customers. When a business has many positive reviews, it sends a message to consumers that the company is trustworthy and provides quality products or services.
A good reputation can help businesses stand out and attract new customers.
Reviews provide social proof:
Finally, online reviews provide social proof for local businesses. Social proof is the idea that people are more likely to do something if they see that others are doing it.
Positive reviews encourage potential customers to do business with a company because they see that others have had a positive experience.
In today’s digital age, online reviews are essential for local businesses. They influence purchasing decisions, boost search engine rankings, provide valuable feedback, build trust and credibility, and provide social proof.
For these reasons, local businesses need to pay attention to their online reviews and actively work to improve their reputation by providing quality products and services and addressing customer complaints.
by Robert Long | Dec 14, 2021 | Online Business, Online Marketing Articles, Social Media Marketing
Most businesses find it difficult to select the digital marketing agency that will be best for them to fulfill their objectives. Any freelancer with an internet connection and a computer can present an impressive website and claim to be a top-notch global company. How does a business, especially a small and medium-sized business person with limited knowledge of the subject go about separating the chaff from the wheat? Many business owners have had a bad experience with fly-by-night operators who either take their money, vanish, or just don’t have it in them to deliver on their tall promises.
We have selected the major characteristics of good digital marketing agencies to make this decision-making easier for you.
Wide and complete range of SEM services under one roof
The services the agency offers should have a wide range. Do they know digital marketing, email marketing, SEO services, and search engine marketing well enough and skilled enough to increase your organic search results and have digital marketing strategies in place to ensure your traffic, conversions, and leads increase over time?
The digital marketing business requires constant study to be up-to-date with the fast-changing developments in the field. The agency should offer a wide range of related services under the same roof. They should also be able to offer services to a wide range of domains for which a good knowledge of specific needs of various trades and industries is necessary.
Customers would rather have their web development, social media marketing, SEO, digital optimization, blog writing, all under the same roof, so that they do not have the problem of coordination between agencies. When all the services are provided by an agency under one roof, the communication becomes painless and only one agency is responsible for the outcomes rather than multiple agencies throwing responsibility around.
Top digital marketing firms have extensive knowledge of a wide range of internet platforms. The more experience they have, the more chances you’ll have to receive services that will help you grow your company.
Online Marketing Services Customized to Your Objectives
A good digital marketing agency will not offer a ready-made package of services listing every service under the sun. They will first listen to you carefully, understand your business and that of your competitors, study their social media, the market, and understand what your objectives are. Your objectives could be just to get more customers, to establish your brand, or to be known as an industry leader. They will also study your target audience, the geographic area of your market, and the niche you want to address.
They will then come out with a strategy and plan to achieve the objectives which spell out each activity, when and how it will be done custom made especially for you. You should ask the digital agency why they recommend particular social media platforms from the large numbers available and what tools they will use for your specific needs. Customizing specific to your needs ensures that resources are spent only where they are needed.
Marketing Implimentaiton Transparency
Transparency is crucial when it comes to establishing trust. You are entrusting your brand along with a significant sum of money to your agency. You should be able to keep track of what’s going on! Leading digital marketing agencies are always willing to share information with you. If they are not transparent it means they are hiding something from you and you will have to be constantly on the alert worrying if they will take you for a ride. If you are entrusting them with your brand and growth to them besides a good amount of money, you have full right to know what is going on. It’s time to look for a new agency if you’re being put on hold and rarely seem to get answers.
A personal relationship with clients
Your digital team should see you as more than just a client. Agencies with a personalized approach invoke confidence and do not show you rules and regulations each time you want some small changes. How an agency interacts with its clients is more of a matter of organizational culture and can be found out in just a meeting or two. Agencies who do not make efforts to know you are not likely to go deep into your needs and may not be able to do justice to your brand in their marketing effort.
There is a beer test the agency representatives should pass. It simply means if they have come close enough to you that you can invite them for a beer, they pass the test!
If they take on a lot of clients and are unable to give your personal attention, it’s because they’re simply interested in your money and don’t care about your success.
A powerful portfolio of past clients with case studies
Nothing boosts your confidence like seeing that the organization you’re working with has had consistent success! Portfolios of the top digital marketing agencies will be easily accessible for potential clients to view. Many put them on their websites.
Data from previous marketing initiatives, website examples, content examples, increased sales numbers, and so on are common examples. Remember to check if the agency has received awards or recognitions in the past. Make sure that the awards of the data they present to you as success is not very old because in this business there are fast changes and what was good last year may not work anymore.
Team with good experience and qualifications
Organizations are made by their people. Make sure that the agency you select has people who have considerable experience qualifications and skills in the specific areas in which you want their services.
You can’t anticipate the same results from a 1-year experienced agency employee as you can from a 10-year experienced one. Experience helps tremendously in solving problems and in getting work done fast and effectively at minimum cost.
If digital marketing agencies cannot make a state of the art website for themselves what will they do for you in the field of digital marketing? A well-designed website is crucial for any digital marketer. The same goes for their social media platforms. You can easily get a checklist to evaluate websites and social media and see how many blocks get ticked.
Reasonable promises and similar values
One sure sign of a digital marketing agency you should reject is one making tall promises which seem even at first sight impossible to keep. Looking at the adjectives they use to describe themselves will give you a good idea about them.
Digital marketing companies who accept their mistakes are more likely to perform better as they will be open and will work with you on a collaborative basis rather than hide them, leaving you in the lurch at the last moment. Companies that have openness deliver better on their promises.
Working with a digital marketing agency that shares your values and operates in a similar environment is important. They will blend in and work effectively with your team. In the end, an agency serves as an extension of your company. It’s just as vital to choose an agency with the correct values and culture as it is to know the quality of their work.
Every competent digital marketing firm should strive to achieve results for its clients. If you’re thinking about associating with an agency, search for case studies, measurable success data, ROI, and testimonials to see how they’ve helped their clients succeed.
Keeping what is mentioned above in your mind will help you to select the right digital marketing agency which will be a good fit for you and will help you grow in profits and establish your brand better.
by Robert Long | Dec 5, 2020 | Online Marketing Articles, SEO Related Articles, Web Design Tips
You may have seen articles online stating why hiring a website designer is a thing of the past. Well as a web designer for over 22 years now, I find this hard to believe, at least not yet. Here are some of the reasons why I think you should hire a website design company or a website designer with a marketing background, to build your website, rather than using a crappy page builder.
Here’s why you should Hire Website Designer 2023
A good website designer has a design background. Yes, you can build your own website with a page builder, but will you design it exactly the way you want or need it to be? Do you know how to create a website that looks good, loads fast, and converts visitors into customers?
A good website designer not only knows how to build your website but also knows about conversion optimization. For this reason, I recommend hiring a well-established, well-rounded website designer that knows web design, SEO, and website conversion optimization. There is no way a website builder can do all that. Sure, you can create search-engine-friendly websites with a page builder, but only if you know how to optimize the website in the first place.
Do you know how to set up all the tracking scripts for Google Analytics, Google search console, conversion tracking, and how to SEO optimize your pages, add XML website maps? Do you know how to make sure all your images are in the correct format, size, have the correct alt tags, and load fast, and they are all correctly tagged and optimized? How about creating the correct screen sizes for all the top mobile devices, so that they still look great on mobile? Not to mention many more things you probably don’t want to know about. It’s like asking how the sausage is made, nobody wants to know, but somebody has to do it, sorry I wrote this just before lunch.
Basically, to build your own website correctly with a page builder you need to be a website designer in the first place. Then you need to learn SEO and some online marketing. Then you need to learn how to convert your traffic into sales and leads so that when you have built your website it makes you some money. I mean that is the point, right?
When it comes right down to it, you can build almost anything yourself and you can get a machine to build things for you also. However, when it comes to your business it’s important that your website can convert your traffic, ranks well, and looks great.
Are Page Builders Easy To Use?
Most page builders allow almost anyone to build their own website with a drag and drop interface. You select a template; some options and you have a shiny new website. It takes away most of the learning curve involved in designing your website.
However, what most people don’t know is that you can do the same if not much more with your own website by using a built-in page builder plugin. For example, if you build your website using WordPress and a theme such as Divi and their Divi builder plugin, you have far more control of your website.
What About Website Hosting?
Most page builders are hosted for you, meaning your website is stored on their server and you pay a monthly fee. Now some might say this is a bad thing, but it really depends on what you want. Having them host your website might be exactly what you want and in this case, you are golden. If you are the type of person that would rather live in your mom’s basement until you are 45 because it’s nice and safe and warm, then this option is for you. The hosting company usually hosts your email and domain too. So it’s a one-stop-shop for all your website needs. However, if you are like me and enjoy actually owning your website then I recommend building it without a page builder with something like WordPress or Joomla! and a reliable hosting company such as liquidweb.com or hostek.com
What About A Unique Design?
A page builder cannot design your website for you, it will give you options to choose from, usually starting with a template and then you modify this template to fit your needs. However, unless you are a designer it’s very likely that your website will not look anywhere near as good as what a professional website designer would be able to build. Have you tried giving your kid a haircut lately? How did that turn out? Has the trauma worn off yet? Have the kids stopped bullying him/her yet? Most website designers have a degree in design and know about using color, fonts, space, and other design elements to make sure your design looks great on many types of devices. Sure, many page builders have come a long way, but they can’t design your website for you.
Search Engine Optimization
Do you like traffic? Then you might want to make sure your
website is optimized for search engines.
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing each page of
your website as well as your entire site’s structure to give it a good chance
of ranking in search engines. A
WordPress website or almost any of the leading content management systems, are
easier to optimize and have a better website structure than any page
builder. They simply are not the same
Best of both worlds
When it comes to the best way to build an affordable website that looks great, is extensible, easy to update, converts well, and allows for unlimited capacities your best options depend on your budget.
If you have buckets of gold nuggets, then you can build your own custom-designed content management system from scratch with all the bells and whistles you can dream of. You can use advanced programming to build anything. However, if you are looking at page builders then your budget is probably a little more down to earth, so I’m going to focus on the best low-budget options that will allow you to fully compete with the big guys.
Yes, I know you knew I was going to mention WordPress right? But that’s because it’s the best CMS on the planet and it’s free. You can build almost any website you can dream of with WordPress. Also, the advanced themes, with page builders built-in, will allow you to build your own websites quickly. I highly recommend WordPress and the Divi Theme along with Divi page builder. Combine this with Yoast for your SEO, some speed optimization plugins and you are all set.
Yes, you will have to hire a designer to build the initial website and set up your SEO, however, you will own the website afterward and have just as much control if not much more than you would have with a page builder.
For example, you can easily add eCommerce to your website if you want to turn it into a fully functional online store by using a plugin called WooCommerce. WooCommerce only takes a few hours to install and configure and it has everything you need. If you need more, then there are tons of great plugins and more being built constantly.
Another great system is Joomla!, which is also a CMS. Joomla! It May have a slightly higher learning curve than WordPress but some say it’s a bit more powerful. I have used both for over a decade and we have developed plugins for both and I would say WordPress is a bit better in many respects. There are more plugins, it’s easier to work with and easier to optimize for search engines.
Are You Serious?
If you are serious about your business, then you should be
thinking long term, if you use a page builder to build your website you don’t own
the website. You can’t move your site to
another hosting company if the company that owns your page builder goes out of
business or is taken over by a company with bad support. If you sell your site then you can simply
move it somewhere else. If you sell your
business one day you have the chance to sell the site to the new owner without
requiring them to stay with the page builder host.
After 20 years in the web design industry, I have studied many systems and methods for building websites. The only page builder I would recommend, and it’s not really a page builder, is Shopify. Shopify is mainly for eCommerce websites, but it’s also used for regular websites. Shopify will allow you to build a very good online store very quickly and there are various plugins to make it SEO friendly. However, it must be hosted on the Shopify servers and you will need specially trained developers to work on a Shopify store if you require custom development.
In closing, if you want a real website, then hire a real website design company. Don’t hire one website designer, hire a team. One person cannot build, host, and provide online marketing to the level you need to grow your business. An automated website builder can only build your website, it cannot design, optimize, maintain and promote it as a web design company can.
It’s sort of like building your own house. You can build your own house, but will it be
up to code? Will it be safe? Will you do it correctly and how will you know
if you did? Would you want a robot to
build your house or a craftsman?
Websites should be an extension of your business and not just a thing you pop up online, so you can say you have a website now. Most businesses make most of their money from their website and this is increasing every year. Also, you don’t have to hire us, but you can if you want 🙂 We also have a directory of website designers aptly named websitedesigners.net. Feel free to join if you are a website designer, or you may want to hire someone local for your next web design project.