Bear Web Blog

Bear Web Blog features our Webmaster’s Blog & Our Designer Street Blog.

Webmaster’s Blog is for business owners, marketing managers, webmasters & web content managers that are all aiming to gain a greater understanding of the internet and how it can be applied to their business.

Designer Street blog is where design meets functionality with expert commentary by the Bear Web Design Design and Development Team who have produced over 400 custom websites.

google-announces-mobile-friendly-search-tags-bear-web-design_20150619-031242_1.jpg

Google Introducing “Mobile-Friendly” Tag Search Results

While sitting in line last month to get my annual auto emission test I was searching on my mobile when I noticed a tag in results “Mobile-Friendly”.  I had never seen it before and recognized immediately what it meant – “Google is telling mobile users what sites are going to be a good experience to visit on your mobile”.  Google’s Search Engine’s aim is to lead you to the best search results but it is now drawing a line in the sand and basically saying if your website is not mobile friendly (no matter how much wonderful content you have on that site) – it is not going to get the all important “Mobile-Friendly” tag.  This tag in my opinion will help users decide whether they actually visit your website. And long term I suspect google may even consider listing Mobile-Friendly results first.

Once I spotted this I started watching out for an announcement from Google. Google is constantly changing and testing new products and I wanted to wait until an official announcement came out before sharing with customers and associates. Sure enough this week Google has made that announcement that they will be rolling this out over the next few weeks.

So what does mobile-friendly search tag ultimately do for your website?

If you do have a mobile-friendly site (responsive website) – well Congrats and Well Done! You not only are making it inviting for your customers to use your website on a mobile device – Google is going to bring your more prospect traffic with the Mobile-Friendly Search Tag. Your choice to head in this direction in the last 12-24 months looks like it will really pay dividends in the upcoming year!

If you DO NOT have a mobile friendly (responsive website) you will most likely start getting less and less mobile traffic (which in essence will also have a bearing on your regular search results as google uses visitation as key ranking parameter).  Loosing traffic generally means less prospects more than anything else but keep in mind you also are wasting your customers time (and causing frustration) when they have to use a non-mobile friendly website.

Is it too late to upgrade to a mobile-friendly website?

I don’t know the actual stats on the internet (which sites are mobile and which are not) – but my suspicion is less than 25% are mobile-friendly right now. Which means some of your competitors haven’t taken that leap yet. I was recently reading a news site on my mobile and saw a great ad for a famous beach town in South Carolina. I clicked on the ad and to my dismay landed on a non mobile-friendly site and simply closed the site. I have since see the ad 100’s of times but never bothered to click it again. I couldn’t believe a tourist bureau would actually invest in online advertising sending you a non mobile-friendly page and expect to have great results – but it shows that lots of companies and organizations have not fully grasped the importance of a mobile-friendly (responsive site).

If you want to verify that google is seeing your website as mobile-friendly please visit Google’s Mobile Friendly Tool. On this page Google really clarifies the biggest issue with websites are not mobile friendly – Readability & Navigation.

Be sure to make upgrading to a mobile-friendly (responsive) website at the top of your marketing plans for 2015 and be sure to contact us at Bear Web Design if you need some help!

What-Makes-Great-Website-Content---Bear-Web-Design.jpg

What Makes Great Website Content?

What-Makes-Great-Website-Content---Bear-Web-Design.jpg

This year website content and content marketing are at the forefront of any results focused website. So what is great content? Is it frequency? (how many times you update your website), is it fancy fonts and highlights with every page designed uniquely? Or, is it content copied from a leading competitors website that you know must be good cause they are a great company!
In essence there are three basic forms of content on a website.

Static Content (Content that qualifies you)

Static content generally tells a web visitor about the business, products and services that you provide. Usually this should be a general overview and bigger picture content and it should give qualification to your business. Static content is items such as about us, our team, our mission, our locations, our products, our services, contact us, and it should be foundation that you identify the primary business services and products you provide (generally without major detail).

When a prospect comes to your website they are trying to establish if you are qualified to provide the service or product they need. If you fail here – the visit is generally over and you won’t get their business. Static content should be updated annually (or as required). One of the great mistakes a website owner can do is to create static content when they launch their new website (and never update it again!). Static content is where your primary keyword and key-phrases “categories” are established.

Product/Services Content (Content that details your capabilities and/or product line).
The second type of content is detailed content which is really decision making content. If your website visitor can review this information and make a decision to do business with you (call, inquiry, buy a product) then you have GREAT CONTENT! Google job is to match a prospects question with great content (The answer to the prospects question). Great content provides prospects with answers that they can take action on. How you formulate your content here is very dependent on your business model. Product/Services Content is where your keyword and key-phrases are detailed and highlighted.

If you have ever had a design meeting with Bear Web Design this should help explain why we asked SO MANY QUESTIONS about your business model. Design of a site includes design layout, development functionality and content to support the design & development. Every company has a different business model so we have to ask a lot of question in establishing how your website is setup. A good example of this is when selling products it is critical to provide every piece of information a prospects needs to buy the product (answer every question). Great product descriptions are rewarded highly by google and drive online sales.

Content Marketing (Content that drives prospects to your website).
The third type of content is Content marketing. Content Marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. More and more companies are putting time and money into their content. So with all things equal (Everyone is getting better and better websites) it really comes down to how well that website and its content is marketed (specifically who it reaches). Blogging is the king of content marketing in our eyes and it is also the most sustainable form.

A great blog should be about a topic, an area of your business (key word or key-phrase) aspect of your business. It should always written in the form of answering a question (notice our title – “So What Makes Great Website content?”) I am answering a question that every client we have wants to know the answer to. (as do all our prospects). Once a great blog is in place then it comes down to your reach, website visitors, social media, e-news, other websites that wish you share your expertise.

So next week we will look at Static Content in more detail (and in the next few weeks we will be covering an area of content) to help you apply this to your own website! And be sure to plan on attending our next Website Content Management Class planned for September so you can start to take full control of your website’s content!

Do-You-Know-What-Content-Marketing-is---Bear-Web-Design.jpg

Do You Know What Content Marketing is?

Do-You-Know-What-Content-Marketing-is---Bear-Web-Design.jpg

Our company has traditionally worked closely with our client base to ensure that they fully utilize their content management system (Joomla) in order to maximize their website results and their visitors experience on the website.  We have done this primarily by teaching classes (both formal classes and onsite training) as well as providing a “how to” support role to ensure that the client not only has a great looking and functioning website but the content is easily updated with fresh, up to date and relevant information.  This is not only great for website visitors and but also great for Google.  Your content on your website determines your search engine and keyword positioning and this determines how many prospects you are reaching (Google is all about the prospect!).

To our delight some of our clients today are absolute experts at managing content on their website. They maximize the opportunity of using their website by having timely information on their site on a continuous basis.  They have learned how to use Joomla and each edition they get more sophisticated tool to work with. Quite often their content is integrated with blogs, social media and e-news  to maximize the messages reach. Keeping in mind that when a visitors comes (or are drawn) to your website they are generally looking to answer a question and that in essence is what good content does – it answers questions and ultimately leads to an action (a purchase, an inquiry or a phone call).

So What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers.  It has become the “big thing” in internet marketing in 2014 although it has always been very important in our eyes thanks to the creation of great content management systems (Joomla, WordPress and Drupal). This is great news in our opinion as your website should be clearly ranked by the look, the feel, and the great content on your website.  This is also a good shift in the area of search engine optimization that was previously dominated by website manipulation, confusing and questionable internet marketing companies that promised a lot but couldn’t deliver quality prospects.

So how can you start to focus on Content Marketing?
Understanding your website, how to manage and update content and what content you place on your website (both permanent  and ongoing content) is a great place to start. Today our sites are very well structured in this department starting with static content and core content  (both text, images and multi-media) that tells your visitors about your business, products and services while blogs, social media and e-news get news campaigns and messages out (and generally aim to pull the visitors back to your website).  And then it comes down to the quality of your content and frankly that is the area that should have your highest focus.

Excited? Then Join us at our Upcoming Web Content Management Class!
Our upcoming Web Content Management Class is Friday April 26th 2014 at Lebanon Wilson Chamber of Commerce (Upper Conference Room). The class is will be focusing on Joomla 3.X (and 2.X) and this is a great opportunity to find out how your content is structured, what tools you can use directly for Content Marketing and ultimately learn how to use your content management system (which is centered around your editor and media manager).

For more details on this upcoming class and registration information CLICK HERE

Our next blog will be breaking down Content Marketing and really focusing on what is good content. (its not just sending someone an update – it is what you actually say!)

Responsive-Web-Design-Bear-Web-Design.jpg

Responsive Design

We do our best to help you  “Go Responsive … Responsibly.” When we design a Responsive Website at Bear Web Design we focus on what a mobile, tablet or desktop visitor is wanting to accomplish.  Working with our clients we try to create a user experience that is optimal in varying device sizes. Check out this article from Website Magazine:

Some Key Quotes from Article: 

What’s more, because viewing websites on mobile devices is generally quite slow, most people are reluctant to start tapping all over a page. This means that design must make it visually clear what elements on the site allow for user interactions. Buttons, links, form fields and other points of user interaction must be large enough to be clicked easily, and spaced far enough away from other page elements that users don’t risk clicking the wrong elements. – See more at: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/pages/responding-to-the-hype-of-responsive-design.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter#sthash.fiNiJ9zw.fS5Q6Zwx.dpuf
What’s more, because viewing websites on mobile devices is generally quite slow, most people are reluctant to start tapping all over a page. This means that design must make it visually clear what elements on the site allow for user interactions. Buttons, links, form fields and other points of user interaction must be large enough to be clicked easily, and spaced far enough away from other page elements that users don’t risk clicking the wrong elements. – See more at: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/pages/responding-to-the-hype-of-responsive-design.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter#sthash.fiNiJ9zw.fS5Q6Zwx.dpuf

“… viewing websites on mobile devices is generally quite slow, most people are reluctant to start tapping all over a page. This means that design must make it visually clear what elements on the site allow for user interactions. Buttons, links, form fields and other points of user interaction must be large enough to be clicked easily, and spaced far enough away from other page elements that users don’t risk clicking the wrong elements.”

“A safer approach for many sites will be to use a drop-down or “select” menu. The user simply clicks the menu and scrolls to the selection (or category) of interest.”

vanity friendly urls

Google Plus Launches Vanity (Friendly) URL’s….

 

If you don’t have a Google+ Local Page (or more to the point if you haven’t claimed and verified your Google+ Local Page) the move by Google to launch Vanity URL’s should really make you consider investing some resources into a Google+ Page for your business some time very soon.

To be clear on what a Google+ URL looks like – until this week if you went to our Bear Web Design Google+ page in Lebanon you would use the URL:

https://plus.google.com/109558858500890501827

As you can see with this image above  – the Google Search Engine also uses this URL in search results….

BUT – As of last week Google commenced offering Google+ Pages (and Google+ Local Pages) vanity URL’s….

And now our Lebanon Google+ Local Page’s URL is this http://www.google.com/+BearWebDesignLebanon

I suspect shortly this will start to appear in the Google Search as well – making your Google+ Local Pages listings even more valuable!  And for companies that have multiple locations Google will offer variations of the vanity URL (usually adding location) – so you can see our Nashville Office location is now http://www.google.com/+BearWebDesignNashville.

This also happened with the Google+ Social Media Page – My Google+ Page is now http://www.google.com/+PeterBeare – so this is not just Business owners that have this opportunity.

So What Is The Big Deal About This?

This is definitely a new form of a domain name for your company being offered by the most powerful search engine in the world that delivers more traffic to your website (and businesses) than all of the other search engines combined….

As with current domain names (and .com’s in particular), if you share the same name as other companies, only one company can have your Google+ vanity URL…. (e.g. there cannot be 2 companies using +BearWebDesign).  So technically speaking the race is on!

Future Business will come through Google+ Local Pages

During this year’s Wilson County Fair we had a call from the Fair Office that a Google+ Local Page online was showing incorrect opening times for the fair. Of course this was a page setup by Google (not by anyone at the Fair) and had completely incorrect information.  But people were literally going to Google and typing Wilson County Fair and Google+ info was being presented incorrectly.  We immediately claimed the page (and updated the information) and linked the page to the website. (Later that week we established that Google+ page was receiving 5000 visitors a day) which really clarified how critical it is to have full ownership of your affiliated Google+ pages.

So What Should Your Company Do?

Before the vanity URL’s were released by Google we were already encouraging all clients to claim their Google+ Local Pages. If you search for Bear Web Design (your company name) Google+ you should see any Google+ Local Pages that have been set up. Google sets these pages up automatically and they are generally tied to Google Maps (and your business location). But the information is general and may be inaccurate, so it is critical to take ownership of your page (at worst someone else may attempt to claim your page) so here are the basic steps:

Step 1 – Find your Google+ Local Page (Google Your Company Name and Google+)

Step 2 – Select Manage this Page (and Claim Ownership) – Note you must have a Google e-mail account and a Google+ Page setup to do this generally)

Step 3 – Verify your business LOCATION – This is the most critical element to Google+ Listings – taking full ownership of your page.

Step 4 –Update your Google+ Local Page  with your accurate corporate information and start posting blogs and updates (just like you do in other social media websites).

Step 5 – Keep an eye out for the URL Vanity Offer from Google (and hopefully you will get the one you want)

If you need help with this process Bear Web Design can assist you. Generally this process can take 2-4 hours with verification usually taking up to a week or so.  But what a small investment for such a great potential return.

And just like domains – when the Vanity URL for your business is gone, it is gone, so get to this as soon as you can!

Mobile Website Usage Continues To Grow!

cedar-stone-bank-mobile-website.jpg

If you are like me, in the last 24 months or so you most likely have started using your mobile phone more and more for browsing the Internet.  Larger mobile screens, voice recognition software, and better wi-fi access are just a few of the advances that have made this possible. 

The usage stats that I have found support this tremendously. Approximately 15% of all web traffic in 2013 has been mobile.  I see no slowing down in this growing segment as the phones keep getting easier to use while more and more websites are becoming responsive (mobile friendly) websites.

It used to be for e-mail (and a phone call)!

My first 2 smartphones were Blackberry’s and their primary purpose was phone and e-mail. On my last Blackberry I started taking photos and sending them thru e-mail. That was great and it certainly gave me a level of connectivity with customers, family and friends that I really enjoyed and used.  When I was travelling to Australia it really become obvious to me how valuable a tool this was.

I didn’t really start actively using my mobile phone for a web browser until I had upgraded to an Android (in 2011) when I started reading the news on my phone  (in the bathroom  – and let me tell you it was just as enjoyable as a newspaper!).

We started developing mobile websites around 2010 when we saw initial demand for mobile sites. Creating the sites generally required separate templates from traditional desktop websites (and lots of development work to make the sites work) but it really wasn’t as clear back then what people would actually use mobile websites for. Today every website we produce is responsive (which includes a mobile friendly version) and this is now a standard with Bear Web Design.

SO what do people use Mobile Websites for?

The answer seems to be more and more obvious today – any web based task that can be accomplished on the mobile in a gnerally short period of time (and without the hassle of turning on a computer and finding a suitable work location). Of course this is my definition but here are some of the things folks now do on mobile sites:

  • Reading, Viewing and updating Content (News, Social Media, Entertainment)
  • Social Media Engagement (Facebook, Twitter & Google+)
  • Personal calendars and contact info (remember back when Day Planners were so popular?)
  • Online Banking and Online Shopping
  • Browsing QR Codes (in areas such as Real Estate and Retail Shopping in particular)
  • General information searching (Just like we do on a normal desktop with google
  • Maps and directions (locating nearest shops and restaurants)
  • E-mail (Voice activation which makes it even easier) & Phone

I am sure there is a lot more to this list, but the reality is if I can do something on mobile – say, transfer money from one bank account to another while sitting in the living room watching TV,  versus getting up and getting my laptop and turning it on letting it boot up and then having it sit awkwardly in my lap “OH THE ABSOLUTE INCONVENIENCE OF IT ALL!” then frankly I am going to use my mobile. Its more convenient and ultimately easier to do and based on that I suspect we are all going to continue to use our mobiles more and more in the future.

Banking Just Got Simpler with CedarStone Bank’s New Responsive Website

Over the last few months, CedarStone Bank has been working on a new responsive designed website. A responsive website is a website that is mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop friendly and provides an optimum user experience based on the device with which the website is being used.

With the significant increase in mobile and tablet usage over the last 12 months, the need to provide easy website usage (not just access) has never been greater, and CedarStone Bank’s new responsive website site provides a great experience for all website visitors.

The website was custom designed and developed by local company Bear Web Design under the direction of John B. Bryan, CedarStone Vice President, Business Development Officer and Tina Winfree, CedarStone Senior Vice President and Operations Manager.

“The entire CedarStone Bank team is excited about the launching of our new and improved website. CedarStonebank.com is easier to navigate while offering the latest and greatest online banking applications. The responsive design makes it attractive and manageable from most any mobile, laptop or tablet device,” commented Bryan.

“The website project was a product of our bank’s ABC program. In July of 2012 we started a program designed to train and mentor CedarStone Bank employees in becoming aspiring bankers. The Aspiring Bankers of CedarStone (ABC) program was designed to educate, enlighten and develop employees to be well-rounded banking professionals as well as to empower them to make our bank better,” he added.

Incorporating the corporate brand and colors of CedarStone Bank with an exciting array of images and data display widgets, the CedarStone Bank website comes to life with a prominent slideshow and rich content, friendly navigation, and a direct and easy login to mobile banking. A new feature of the website is CedarStone Bank News and Blog, which integrates and publishes directly to social media, keeping customers connected with the latest website news and information in their favorite social media.

We Are Responsive!

Desktop Laptop Responsive Website CedarStone Bank

Laptop and Desktop view gives visitors the full experience, with easy to use navigation and lots of key information accessible from the home page. You can find a branch location easily and our contact forms integrate with Google Maps, allowing you to even get driving directions while staying on the website!

Tablet and Mobile Responsive Website - CedarStone Bank

Mobile & Tablet views will really show you the advantages of responsive design. While launching a great image-based website is becoming the vogue (with large image backgrounds and slideshows becoming more common), the fact is, if that site isn’t easily accessible in a mobile or tablet experience, then a larger and larger user segment base is being overlooked and ignored.

ALWAYS SECURE – security remains CedarStone Bank’s top priority, with the highest standards of website security and protocols being implemented.

SO, like never before, Banking Just Got Simpler with CedarStone Bank’s New Responsive Website.

We look forward to seeing you online and at a CedarStone Bank branch soon!

Bear Web Design launches Responsive Wilson County Fair Website

Over the last few months, Bear Web Design has been working on a new responsive designed website to launch for the 2013 Wilson County Fair. A responsive website is a website that is mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop friendly and provides an optimum user experience based on the device with which the website is being used.

With fair goers using many different devices to access event information — ranging from family planning on a laptop or desktop, to mobile and tablet users checking out their favorite events as they head down I-40 to Lebanon, TN to the Wilson County Fair — the new responsive website site provides a great experience for all website visitors.

The website was custom designed by our awesome design Team Vicki Beare and Dana Bryson under the direction of Helen McPeak, Nell Stephens & George Wallace. As always with Vicki and Dana, their designs are visually amazing while maintaining excellent functionality. Incorporating an exciting array of image and data display widgets, the Wilson County Fair site comes to life with eye catching graphics and logos, and with great photos from the Fair’s photography team.

Matched with great design is the tremendous content work by Nell Stephens, who manages all content on the website. There are close to 500 event listings for this year’s Fair, and to ensure each event is accurate as well as informative is something Nell has mastered.

To appreciate the full experience I invite you to visit the website on at least 3 devices (mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop) to get a full appreciation for responsive design which is where all of Bear Web Design’s new development efforts have been focused in 2013 – http://www.wilsoncountyfair.net

Laptop and Desktop views will really give visitors the visual experience of being at the Wilson County Fair. As you enter the site you will see a great background photo (which changes daily and really sets the experience for the website visit). Our photo slideshow can quickly take you through several great photos that link to a specific event (or event category) or to any general article in the site.

Of course, the star of the website is the list of events, which are being presented through our new event system which can be accessed via the main menu. For the first time on the Fair website, we are capable of tying event listings to the actual events photograph. We are currently loading event photos for specific events providing you with the capability of reading event details and seeing some great event photos. Another great feature this year is Facebook comments that allow the visitor to post a comment about any event (that is not only shared on the site but also shared in Facebook).

Other key elements include:

  • Sliding icon based navigation system (key fair items such as contacts, vendors, directions, tickets etc.
  • Tab based info (In the right module) that can be clicked on to expand information (click on videos to see the Wilson County Fair video channel)
  • Blogs and News (that automatically update Social Media — Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
  • Digital advertising, with ads designed to effectively promote the Fair’s sponsors and advertisers while fitting aesthetically into the look and feel of the new website.
  • A twitter feed gives the fair a direct broadcast banner which will be used to provide key information updates throughout the Fair.
  • Sponsorship Scroller on the home page, providing great visibility and recognition of Fair sponsors.

Wilson County Fair Responsive Site on iPadMobile & Tablet views will really show you the advantages of responsive design. While launching a great image based website is becoming the vogue (with large image backgrounds and slideshows becoming more common), the fact is, if that site isn’t easily accessible in a mobile or tablet experience, then a larger and larger user segment base is being overlooked and ignored.

The Wilson County Fair’s mobile site provides key drop down menus as well as immediate search options. The key to a good mobile site is navigation, so these items are directly below the new fair logo.

wilson-county-fair-ipad-verticalThe logo and new slideshow are sized to 100% of the mobile device (and tablet when in vertical view) – and you can easily review the great slideshow you see on the desktop with touch-screen navigation to scroll to the next photo.

Touch navigation is relevant in both Mobile and Tablet,  and the behavior of finger touch screens are tested thoroughly by Vicki and Dana (using a variety of iOS, Windows, and Android devices and browsers) to ensure they are easily navigable.

Additionally, the mobile and tablet views are complemented by fully readable events, blogs & articles with access to photos, videos and key information. We even have our sponsors ads running on the mobile sites in 2013 as we are expecting a surge in mobile use this year with up to 25,000 unique visitors.

One important thing to keep in mind is that all of the responsive views use the same data and info as the full desktop site  — so there is only one site to maintain and update. (This is a huge and relatively recent improvement over the days when a mobile site had to be updated separately.)

Introducing the Wilson County Fair’s First Mobile App!

To cap off the new Wilson County Responsive Website we are introducing our first Mobile App (Event App) that is browser based.

This means you don’t have download the app to use it, and it does not require a different download for different operating systems (e.g. i-Phone, Android, Blackberry).

The mobile app comes with a sharp and crisp interface giving you a different look than the actual website event listing and these events are tied to Google Map and  GPS coordinates identifying precisely where the event is taking place in the Fair Grounds.

Wilson County Fair Responsive Site on iPhoneUltimately we are working with this app to have the ability to navigate around the fair with your mobile device while being constantly aware of what events are up and coming. We will be sharing more information on our new mobile app as we progress through its setup.

So like never before you can stay tuned, connected and engaged with the Wilson County Fair.

We look forward to seeing you online and at the Wilson County Fair – August 16-24, 2013!

What is Google Ad Words?

Recently I had a prospect ask me to focus (almost exclusively) on improving their Google Search Engine positioning based on key words. The belief of the prospect was that you can manipulate results on Google easily and quickly and that regardless of your website (and its design) this methodology (known as Search Engine Optimization) could be implemented very easily.

Peter Beare, BeareWareOf course this information had been passed on to our prospect by a “Search Engine Optimization” expert selling their services, maybe at $500.00 a month, maybe a lot higher. Regardless of the price, the premise itself should be considered and understood by every website owner. In a nutshell, if a company could “manipulate” the results of Google Search Engine it is obvious that Google would lose business (as the best websites would not come up on a search, only the best manipulated websites would come up). Google clarifies clearly on its website that no one can manipulate these results. They also identify that companies can help you with this process but it  should start at the design phase. If you want to have the best search engine results you have to have a great website. (PERIOD)….

Here is what Google Stats about companies offering number 1 ranking search engine results – http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291.

Big and bold this article states “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.” So with that in mind,  there is a service offered by Google where you can ensure placement on a search engine.  It is called Ad Words. 

Here is a basic introduction to Ad Words from Google’s Website:

With Google Ad Words, you can create and run ads for your business, quickly and simply. Run your ads on Google and our advertising network, no matter what your budget, you’ll only pay when people click your ads.

Ad Words ads are displayed along with search results when someone searches Google using one of your keywords. Ads appear under ‘Sponsored links’ in the side column of a search page, and may also appear in additional positions above the free search results. That way, you’ll be advertising to an audience that’s already interested in your business. You can also choose to display your ads on Display Network sites in the growing Google Network. Also you can choose the exact Display Network placements where you’d like your ad to appear, or you can let contextual targeting match your keywords to content.

You can choose from a variety of ad formats, including text, image, and video ads, and easily track your ad performance using the reports available in your account. There’s no minimum monthly charge with Ad Words, just a nominal activation fee. Learn more about the cost of advertising with Google Ad Words.

Based on the requirements of our prospect, we have now offered the service of implementing an Ad Words Campaign. Bear Web Design itself engaged in a month long Ad Words Campaign primarily to get a better understanding of how it works and what work is involved in implementing a successful program. One of the major benefits in running an Ad Words Campaign is that you really can hone in on what your customers are searching for (which gives you a great deal of direction from both an Ad Words Campaign and SEO)…

Do You Know What Google+ Is?

This week I presented Google+  to a lunch and learn session for the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce. Google+ (pronounced and sometimes written as Google Plus or G+) is Google’s social media network. I spent quite a bit of time preparing for the presentation as I have only been using Google + for the last 3 months or so and I was curious about what level of interest there was going to be.  Based on the lively group with many questions, comments, and feedback from my presentation, it is apparent that people are definitely starting to focus on Google’s social media network. 

Introduction to Google Business Apps

To actually use Google + you must have a Google e-mail Account (a Google Business Apps Account or a Gmail Account). We have a Google Business Apps account set up for Bear Web Design so that is where my Google + Page is tied.  This was an attractive feature of Google + to me – Google Business Apps has so many products that I use  – e-Mail , Calendar, Drive, Chat, Video Chat (aka Hangout) and then our webmaster tools such as Analytics, Website submission,  Google Plus Local Pages and Google Places, to name a few. And then when you add Youtube, Picasa (Photo Album), and Blogge, you start to see what Google + Social Media is going to be sharing (EVERYTHING!!!! – AND IT’S LOCATED IN ONE PLACE!).

Introduction to Google+

To get to Google+  from any Google e-mail account go to your Profile and you will see your Google + Page.  Many people actually have Google + Pages that are active (but don’t have updated profile information). To see how people will see your  Google + Page (search for Your Name and Google +) in Google’s Search Engine and you will most likely find your Google + Page.  I have set  up a personal photo cover on my Google + page to actually reflect the fact my page is Social. (In reality it is also for business networking!).

Get to Know Google Plus Circles

One of the issues I have with my personal Facebook page is that I have many different relationships tied to my account.  Since we are web developers, we have a lot of Facebook Apps we have set up for clients (which means we are administrators of their Facebook corporate pages) then we have business friends and family here in Tennessee and then we have friends and family back in Australia.  I find it difficult to manage this and worse I get so many posts that are simply irrelevant to me.

Communicate Effectively (and Efficiently)

Google + comes with a categorization structure, called Circles, which allows you to manage your relationships and easily add more Circles. You can quite easily set up business acquaintances, friends, family, sports clubs or whatever you wish.  And then when you post, you send the information to the appropriate Circle. This makes absolute sense to me. From a family point of view I don’t want to share my family conversations with anyone but my family (for privacy and also not to waste other people’s time).  Same with every circle I have. One of the biggest areas people ignore in Social Media is how valuable people’s time is. Circles help me respect everyone’s most valuable asset – their time!

Other Great Features Include Google Hangout!

If you use Skype, which has been the standard voice and video communication online, then you should try Google Hangout. Again, what I like most about this is that it is tied to my Google e-Mail Account and I can video chat with anyone within my Circles (or invite additional people) just like a I can with Skype.  It works great on your mobile as well, and is so easy to access from my email account. Since my mobile device has my Google account set up, I can easily get to Google + and then have a hangout (on the phone).

But even more exciting – Introducing Google+ Local Pages

So Google+ looks like the bomb (as my Grand Daughter Addison would say) – BUT – as a business owner my time and resources are limited… so, Is this going to help me with Search Engine rankings and deliver me more prospects?

The short answer is that Google + ultimately leads you to Google+ Local (Google’s Business Listing that ties Social Media to your Search Engine Listing).  And that is exciting to me!

When you go to the Google search engine and type in a standard search phrase – “Lebanon TN Lawyers” – you will see:

Google Plus Local Page Result
 
You can see here that Google gives a good amount of results for companies that have Google + Pages set up (and it shows you where these businesses are located, which can be a key in a prospect’s decision making parameter). Also, look how cleanly the listing stands out compared to the rest of the page – you can click on the listing to go directly to a website, to the actual Goolge + Local Page or the OLD FASHIONED PHONE.

I hopefully now have gotten your attention — and more to the point, Google+ is something as a business you are now looking at a little closer.  My next blog (next week) will be about Google+ Local Pages specifically, how to set one up, the Circle structure, and how they are tied to all your business app tools!

Hope everyone have a Happy Easter and a sunshine-filled week!

Contact

Bear Web Design
2622 Bluefield Avenue
Nashville, TN 37214
(615) 504-6845

Bear Web Design - Web Design Agency | 2622 Bluefield Avenue | Nashville, TN 37214 - (615) 504-6845

©2020 Bear Web Design. All Rights Reserved.