Having a professionally built website is not only beneficial but also necessary if you want to stand out amongst your competition. In today’s technology age, people are not searching for you in phone books anymore. Potential clients are Googling you, searching your website for contact information, and comparing your website to competitor’s in order to determine who suits their needs the best. Unfortunately not every business owner sees the value in spending money to have a website professionally built to reflect their business and personality.
Today, the front of your website is essentially your store front. Whenever meeting a new person or potential client, you always worry about making the best possible first impression. So, why should your website be any different? Your website should be an immediate reflection of you, your personality and your business. An unprofessional website could lead to visitors not feeling welcome or that your business is outdated. This will see them looking elsewhere for the services that you could have provided.
Challenge Your Competition
Having a professional website allows you to be on top of your industry and challenge your competition to keep up. Continually working and adding to your website forces your competition to always remain one step behind. Where your competition is only just beginning to realize the benefits of having a professional website. You are already established and continually making an effort to maintain your online presence and stay at the top of your market.
Higher Search Engine Ranking
One of the big terms in online marketing these days is “SEO”. Search Engine Optimization is basically the optimization of your website in order to provide a higher ranking among today’s search engines. When people are searching for a specific business or service to suit their needs, they are searching for key terms within these search engines. Statistically these users will visit the first or second business that is generated by their search. If your site is out dated, it does not contain the specific content necessary to be picked up and indexed by these search engines. So instead of being on the first page of listings, you might be lost on page 5 or 6 and never seen by the user searching. Having a high standing search engine ranking is one of the best methods today to gain new clientele.
Generate More Revenue
A professionally designed website will attract more attention and generate more traffic to your website. Humans by nature are drawn to attractive things and this is no different in the world of design. This is why it is important to employ a professional design firm in order to maximize the potential of your website design and effectiveness.
Greater & Quick Access
Internet access is available on almost every mobile device or tablet these days. Having a quick and easy way for customers to find your phone number, address or contact you by email is a huge benefit. They can easily find out what you do, what you have done previously and what you can offer them. You don’t have to say a lot in order to get people’s attention. Sometimes you can just let the design speak for you.
Facebook has numerous tools small businesses can and must use. A solid Facebook presence assists you to engage potential consumers and grow your trade. With so several ways to promote your local business on Facebook, it may be very difficult to know where to begin. Here are some simple ways to promote local small business on Facebook.
Tips to promote local small business on Facebook
Create a Business Page
While you set up your Facebook page, you will notice there are countless options to customize it. You must add as many details about your trade including your address, website, contact details, products and business hours. It is extremely significant to add a profile and cover photos that reveal what your business does.
Promote Your Page
What excellent is sharing & creating top quality content if nobody sees it? Luckily, there are simple ways to build a following on Facebook. While you create your page firstly, send invites through Facebook to your new consumers. You need to put a link to your Facebook page on your business cards and in your email signature. It is also important to include all of your SMO profiles on your site.
Engage Your Followers
The latest algorithm of Facebook favors pages and posts that create engagement. Before posting anything on Facebook, you must ask yourself, if it will create a discussion. It is also important to remember that Facebook is a powerful social media platform, therefore you must be social. The key factor of success to engagement is posting top quality content. For quick results, attempt to be friendly and conversational. Keep updates timely and react quickly to private messages and comments.
Try Facebook Ads
If you’re having difficulties reaching users freely, try Facebook ads. Promoted Facebook posts look like daily posts but are extremely targeted and reach more customers. Facebook’s tools are extremely effective and make it simple to target a particular audience. You can target people who like your page or by location, gender, age, and interests. Because Facebook accumulates user data, it can target your announcement to those people who are likely to be interested in your services or products.
A strong brand identity helps the audience differentiate you from your competitors and can positively influence their purchasing decisions, directly impacting your profitability. But there are several myths and misconceptions that small business owners believe that can get in their way of developing a strong brand identity.
Strong Brand Identity Favors You
Makes your company look bigger
When prospects see a professional brand consistently used on your business cards, website or social media profiles, they get the image of a company that deserves their business. Prospects look for a company that has the resources to help them succeed. They will also expect to pay more for a more established company. If you hand them a homemade business card or your web presence is unprofessional, they will think you are small and not worthy of their business or the fees that you feel you deserve.
Creates an identity that is bigger than you
Many independent professionals that offer consulting or coaching services end up building a brand around themselves rather than the business. If your goal is to become a public figure, that may be fine. But if you want to separate the business from you for future growth or sale, develop a brand for the company. A unique brand will be one of the assets that come into play during the sale or acquisition.
Builds loyalty and trust
One of the ways you can separate your business from the competition is to have a unique brand that differentiates you in the marketplace. A strong brand that conveys your values builds an emotional connection with customers, which will attract them to your business if they share the same values. This type of connection makes it easier for you to develop a long-term relationship with those customers, leading to greater customer loyalty.
You may be the best, most experienced person in your field, but no brand or a self-created brand conveys an impression that the company won’t last. A brand helps you develop an image for your business that says “I’m here to stay”. A well-defined brand identity projects a long term feel to those who see it regularly. Eliminate any question about your viability by having a crisp image and clear messages.
Shows commitment and personal pride
Investing in a unique brand identity shows that you take pride in your business and are committed to success. Customers will believe you are more likely to deliver on your promises to them because a business that invests in its success will under promise and over deliver, creating more brand loyalty and trust with every customer interaction.
Everyone knows that your blog post needs eye-catching images to help capture the interest of the reader. Using the right images can keep visitors on your page longer and generate more traffic. Unfortunately most authors simply upload images without thought to proper image optimization.
Handy Image Optimization Tips
The goal of inbound marketing is to drive traffic to your website in order to convert them into leads. Including quality images in your content gives your brand the opportunity to be more visible on social media, encouraging more engagement and click through back to your website. Visuals can:
- Help you tell a story
- Project your expertise
- Break up your writing for easier consumption
- Send a message
- Evoke an emotion
- Help raise visibility for your content
But using the image without optimizing it first wastes an opportunity for even more visibility. SEO is not just about optimizing the text on a page. You need to take advantage of all on-page elements that can help drive traffic to your content, both textual and visual.
The next time you are writing your blog post, use these image optimization tips to ensure you get the best results from your images.
Find The Right Images
Using images just for the sake of having an image in your post doesn’t really help your cause. Your image needs to support the content that surrounds it.
Size Your Images For Speed
Page load speed is important to both humans and the search engines. A page loaded with large images will load slowly, causing visitors to quickly hit the back button. This sends a signal to the search engines about the quality of your website, potentially lowering your website’s rank in the search engine results.
Use Your Metadata Wisely
We sometimes think of the search engine bots as “human” – i.e. they can read and understand our online content. But when the search engines are indexing your site, they can crawl through your site and read all of your text but are unable to read images. To help search engine bots understand the relevance of your images to your content, provide descriptive text using the metadata. This information will help them index your images appropriately. Image optimization is an easy but important task that can make a difference on whether your images get indexed and lead visitors back to your website.
As front end developers who love design, we are aware that large typography is trending up, and so is the use of a lot of whitespace, as well as the use of more organic shapes and scribbles in design, but we will be focusing more on the web development trends expected to take off in 2019.
The Trends In Web Development
Mobile First Development And Design
You need your assets being delivered to a user’s device to be optimized. SEO, using a CDN, and having minified assets might not cut it depending on how media-heavy your website is; you might need an Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) version of your website – the biggest benefit of this being page load time and excellent usability on mobile devices. Or maybe you might need a Progressive Web App instead.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
Progressive Web Apps have been on the rise for a while. A Progressive Web App is basically a website that acts like a native mobile app; best used for websites with dynamic content. Native Mobile Apps definitely still have their place as PWA often don’t have access to native platform services (among other things), but tools exist to wrap PWA’s as native to counteract that. PWA’s should take off this year.
One of the biggest benefits of a design system (especially to a more recent adopter like myself) is the ability to reuse components easily, but not just that, the ability to speed up the development process. Expect design systems to become more the norm in web development in 2019.
There are so many potential applications of AI in web development. The advance tools are used recently that use AI to detect a face and background and present you with a transparent file in .png for whatever you want to do. Expect more online tools and JS libraries using AI to pop-up in 2019.
Chatbots and Customer Experience
2018 saw the launch of many startups specializing in conversational bots. Not just bots that answer questions, but lead generating and maintaining bots that take care of your customers’ technical or customer support questions outside of business hours. These are just a few of the many web development trends that our developers consider as very likely to take off in 2019.
It’s easy to see that social media marketing is a key element for success in marketing and many marketers realize the potential for business growth using the platform. However, some of these professionals are unsure of which tactics to apply and if they are effective.
Social Media Marketing Of Your Business Is Inevitable
- Increased Brand Awareness
Social media marketing is one of the most cost-efficient digital marketing methods used to syndicate content and increase your business’ visibility. Implementing a social media strategy will greatly increase your brand recognition since you will be engaging with a broad audience of consumers. To get started, create social media profiles for your business and begin interacting with others. Get employees, business partners, and sponsors to “like” and “share” your page. Simply having people interact with your content will increase brand awareness and begin building your reputation as a business. Each post that is shared will be introduced to a new network of individuals, which can lead them to becoming potential customers, and the more people who know about your business, the better.
- More Inbound Traffic
Without marketing your business on social media, your inbound traffic is limited to your usual customers. The people familiar with your brand are likely searching for the same keywords you already rank for. Without utilizing social media as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll have much more difficulty reaching anyone outside of your loyal customer circle. Every social media profile you add to your marketing mix is a gateway to your website, and every piece of content you post is another opportunity to acquire a new customer.
- Improved Search Engine Rankings
Although posting on social media might get your business some site traffic, more effort than that is required to see significant success. Search engine optimization is very important for achieving higher page rankings and obtaining traffic to your business website. While social media doesn’t directly increase search engine rankings, Social Media Examiner states that more than 58% of marketers who have been using social media for one year or longer still see improved search engine rankings.
- Higher Conversion Rates
With increased visibility, your business gains more opportunities for conversion. Every blog post, image, video, or comment may lead viewers to your company’s website and increase traffic. Social media marketing allows your business to give a positive impression through a humanization factor. When brands are interactive by sharing content, commenting, and posting statuses on social media, it personifies a brand. People prefer to do business with other people, rather than companies.
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