Webmasters Blog

A blog 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.

Do You Have A Webmaster?

Do you have a Webmaster?

With modern websites becoming more and more sophisticated in both look and behavior the expectation that a standard web hosting company will take care of everything your website needs is simply not correct.  The game plan of hiring a web designer that builds a new website and then moves it to a hosting company to sit indefinitely is no longer a viable plan for you or your website. Today you really need a webmaster.

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WordPress Gutenberg & The Classic Editor

The new block editor, also known as Gutenberg, stands to change the way you create and update content on your WordPress site.

It’s likely you have experienced the classic WordPress editor. You might use it to post a blog, for instance. It’s also likely that you had to look up how to complete complex tasks like style changes, adding buttons or changing the background color. (You may have also asked your friendly agency for assistance.)

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What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). … GDPR came into effect across the EU on May 25, 2018.

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Managing Your Website

A company can spend a lot of money, time and resources developing a new website. It is an exciting time filled with great expectations as the internet provides a constant supply of users searching for products and services and a great looking website can really help attract customers. It is easy to think that if you get everything right during this design and development phase you are going to be all set in upcoming years.

Unfortunately, that is not the case today as websites are far more complex than just an electronic marketing brochure that tells a company story or a marketing campaign at a specific point in time.  Most websites today are Content Management Systems which are a class of website that allows the content to be updated by both the owner and or their respective webmaster.  This means your website really needs to be built in mind of telling many stories and having many marketing campaigns that may come along during the websites existence… quite often 3-5 years.

The management of your website has become more complex simply by the nature of the internet and these intelligent content management systems. What are the best practices?

Maintenance & Hosting Support

The first and foremost form of website management is the boring stuff… upgrading your website when new editions that are released including core updates as well as extensions and components that make up your website. These upgrades are usually related to security, functionality and occasionally enhancement. Keep in mind that a host provider such as GoDaddy does NOT provide these services and the biggest issues you will encounter when you don’t upgrade your website is the potential of being hacked or something stops working.

Web Content Management

After overseeing around 350 website developments we have learnt that establishing a client’s ability to manage their website is critical.  So here are 3 great questions for an owner of a website?

  • Do you have writing skills and or photography skills that can contribute to the website?
  • Can you use Social Media and if so what is your favorite Social Media App?
  • Can you or your staff dedicate time to learn how to use your website and update it?

The last question is not as important as the first two in my opinion. Mechanically updating the website is about learning how to use a CMS system… e.g. Joomla or WordPress. That takes time and is very dependent on usage. If you update your website once a year then you most likely will never master the CMS and most likely should have the help of a Website Management Company… (NOTE –  again this is not a web hosting company that simply provides a physical space for your website)

Blogging Is Still King Of Content

If you can tell a story and if you write well and can take great photos then you most likely possess a critical ingredient that your website will always need… FRESH CONTENT!

The absolute best content you can provide your website is Blog…. pure and simple. Google loves fresh & frequent content and it will reward you with new prospects and repeat client visits.

A relevant topic that is written by you or your staff that contanis knowledge, information and you or your company’s personality wrapped up in 3-4 great paragraphs is all you need. We have several clients that do a great job but there is none better than Russell Berry of The Travel Factory in Abilene Texas. Russell has been blogging on his website since its inception in 2012.  We are now at 256 blogs with a new blog coming each week… check out some of Russell’s great work below!

https://www.thetravelfactoryabilene.com/about/travel-blog-magazine

This work has basically established a website that increases it traffic by around 1000 visitors a year (every year) and when you combine Google My Business which has more than doubled the website traffic and throw in Facebook as the social media and you have a tremendously sustainable website with a great internet marketing game plan!  Using the blog as your primary post in Google Posts and Facebook creates great opportunity for prospect and customer conversation!

Updating the Website Is Easy – Producing Great Content is Hard!

We work with Russell each week to publish the blog which includes adding a Royalty Free Photo, Adding Tags to the Blog, sharing the blog with Google Posts and Facebook. All up our time is 15-30 minutes each week pending on the actual Blog that we are polishing up and publishing – basically a mechanical process.

But let’s be honest Russell’s ability to produce the content for his business is PRICELESS!

I often hear website owners say I can’t update my website as it is to hard to do but that should NEVER stop you having great content on your website. (producing content is hard to do!). Answering those three key questions above should help ensure successful website management with a sustainable plan.

SO keep in mind that working with a company that can provide Website Management Services for those that need it as well as Content Management Training Classes for those who can allocate the time to update their website is certainly worthwhile establishing!

Be sure to contact me if you would like to review or discuss your website management!

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Social Media Stream Gives Your Website The Power!

Social Media has become a dominant force in our world ranging from personal socialization to business marketing.  Over the past 5 years or so businesses have been putting more and more effort and resources into using social media in the aim of building their brands and marketing their products and services.  It has clearly been a revolution to be able to add a great photo and a small paragraph or two and be able to share with your friends and fans reaching 100’s or sometime 1000’s of people in real time.

With all the work companies spend on social media the one the area that does not generally benefit from social media posts is the owner’s own website. Quite often the website will link their visitors to their active social media pages or you share a widget with a latest post and links. Generally, the traffic from your website to social media is one way. The problem is once a client or prospects gets to social media you no longer have control of that session. Social Media can bombard visitors with advertising and other non-related information distracting them from your mission while social media policies can also be changed at any time greatly effecting the users experience.

So what If we could maximize the content you are producing in all your social media accounts and then share each post back to your website in a permanent stream?

Introducing Social Media Stream!

https://www.bearwebdesign.com/bear-social-media-stream

We have just commenced implement Social Media Streams to our client’s website (works in both Joomla and WordPress).  There are many benefits to the social media stream on your website but here are key ones:

  • All your website visitors get to see all your posts not just what social media allows or boosts.
  • The social post opens a new page for readership but does not end your website session.
  • The social media stream looks amazing on desktop as well as your mobile device.
  • Supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pintrest, Vimeo and more
  • The showcasing of all social media’s makes you company look like a marketing machine!

Social Media Stream On Mobile Device

Also you can check out our first two clients to have the social media stream setup – https://www.VisitWilCO.com and https://www.RestorationandWellness.com – in both cases that stream is at the bottom of the home page.

Setting up social media stream on your website takes around 4 hours and a small annual licensing fee.

So if you are ready for Social Media Stream to give your website the power contact Bear Web Design today 615 504-6845 or send us an Inquiry!

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Girls That Code Visit Bear Web Design!

Girls that Code from Wilson County visited Bear Web Design in Nashville today to learn about the opportunities for programmers & developers in the 21st century! The girls are taught programming by web designer/developer Jennifer Folsom and were treated to pizza after their visit.

Peter Beare presents to Girls that Code Opportunities for Programmers Developers in the 21st Century

The girls learnt about the history and types of programming languages (dating back to the 1960’s) and then looked at examples of how each language type is used today. They also had an overview of my programming background including my Degree in Computer Science from M.T.S.U. and the languages that I studied as an example of what type of degree they might seek to become a programmer including the amount of languages they may have to study. We also discussed work environments that have changed drastically in recent times. The girls seem to enjoy the idea that you can do your work from anywhere so long as you can get to the interent!

To finish our presentatioon we reviewed Web Design & Development and the languages used in that arena including Mobile Apps which finished off a lively presentation and discussion. Vicki Beare who was our founding designer and developer was on hand to provide some valuable input to the girls as was our current designer and developer Jennifer Folsom. To finish off the visit Bear Web Design treated all the girls to Pizza at PizzeReal Restaurant in East Nashville.

Girls that Code celebrate with Pizza after visiting with Bear Web Design

It was a great experience visiting with the Girls that Code from Wilson County today and we wish the girls all the best in their upcoming endevours as they aspire to become programmers and developers in this exciting and dynamic industry!

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How Does Your Digital Profile Look?

Have you recently heard the term “Digital Profile”? it is becoming a key focus area for companies as well as individuals that provide services that are searched for on the internet. That means just about any company that operates today should be paying attention to their Digital Profile.

A Digital Profile as it sounds is a profile that has been establish online through your internet resources and usage.  Google is the best place I know of to check out your digital profile to get a feel for what people will see when they type your companies name.

Thanks to Google My Business (formerly Google+) we have really seen the development of the Digital Profile over the last 12-24 months. Google My Business includes Google Reviews, Google Maps & Directions, Google Search Results, hours of business, photos as well as links to your website. On mobile it is as powerful as it appears on a desktop and it can heavily influence whether a customer communicates with your company directly from google (e.g. calls you) or links to your website for further information.

So using Bear Web Design’s Digital Profile as a starting example lets look at some of the basic elements… (see our Digital Profile above)…

  1. Google Ad Words and Organic Information sit on the left hand side of the search page result. Adwords are an online advertising services by Googler where advertisters pay to display ads that are tied to key search terms and phrases. Organic search results are website listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms.
  2. Google My Business sits on the right hand side and consists of photos, address & location, directions, website link, reviews, business hours (absolutely critical to being correct) and links for action – phone number to call, driving directions to come visit and website link to learn more about your business.
  3. Notice the Google Post that is under Google My Business (this is a new featured offered by Google allowing business owners to feed their content directly into their search results page! Google Posts will stay active for 7 days and I have seen some posts that receive 1000’s of views.
  1. Google Insights which shows you how many searches that your Google Digital Profile appears in including (Discovery) – those searching for your services or products but don’t know you directly and (Direct) – those that do search for you directly.

So if you haven’t checked out your Digital Profile it is definitely time to do so. It will be a critical part of your online success! And if you need some help managing and updating your digital profile please be sure to contact Bear Web Design!

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Is It Time For A New Website?

You have a website that has been up and running for a number of years. In actual fact many organizations have had 2-3 generations of websites now a days. It looked great when the website was launched (they always do) but over the years it has become less and less of a focal point in your companies marketing plans. You don’t really know how much traffic is coming to the website (as the reports you used to get stopped coming) and the big part that bothers you is that you don’t seem to get any inquiries from your website any more…

Website technology and design has changed quite dramatically in the last 2-3 years. One of the biggest changes came with responsive design (mobile friendly websites). Responsive design is the process of designing a website that responds to the device the website is being viewed on (giving an optimum visitor experience).

Google really started pushing this technology around 2014 when they commenced listing website as “mobile friendly” that were optimized for a mobile device. In other words if someone was searching a service your company provided and your website came up in the search and was NOT mobile friendly google would clarify this – basically telling the user that this might not be a great experience. (SO basically don’t go to this website).  Since 2015 there are more mobile devices than desktops and that trend has continued to grow so bottom line is you can assume long term that half your traffic will be mobile based.

If your website is not responsive “Mobile Friendly” then it is time for a new website.

The next most critical aspect about your website is your design layout and home page content specifically. Today a prospect may give your website 5-10 seconds to establish whether you match  his/her needs (and that they like your website). A slideshow that showcases your company (4-5 slides) that include clear specific captions can go a long way to helping a first time visit quickly get a feel for what you have to offer. These slides should lead to more in-depth information if the visitor wants to find out more.  If photos are vibrant and really appropriate in those slide shows then you might just have a home run on your hands with a good design.

Besides the slideshow (the elevator pitch) you want to clarify what you do, where you are, and samples of your work (or services and products)…. We are Bear Web Design, we design websites, we are located in Nashville, TN and here is our portfolio of recent work.  And here is some action buttons or links for you to choose from (Contact Us, Call us) as well as links to more details about our company. But the bottom line is that if your home page cannot give me the most important facts and information about your company in a professionally graphic based design “quickly” then I will probably moving on to the next website.

If your website home page does not tell your companies story professionally, graphically, clearly and quickly then it is time for a new website.

Then comes your websites content. Content used to be a paragraph of “let me tell you about us” but content today is sophisticated, exciting and really focused on selling and getting your messages across. Multimedia is starting to dominate the content landscape and even if you are not ready for video productions yet great photographs are definitely within your reach today. (Big bold photos that really showcase you and tell your story).  The key to updating your content is to make sure it is current. If you had a key selling feature 3 years ago (new office, new renovations or a new factory) that information should not be a key promotion today. (Why because when the office doesn’t appear new or the renovation aren’t new trust will be lost and a prospect may feel like they were misled. So old content must be updated.  Establish what your primary services are today and expand on them with text, photos and multimedia. Another key area that I look for a website is “Meet Our Team” which should include photos, bios, and background. I want to know who I will be potentially meeting with and working if I move forward with your company so please don’t have “Contact Us” with no location, no people, and no intimacy and expect to get good results.  With google being so location centric today it is crazy not to promote where you are. People really think locally today when searching the internet.

If your website content is out of date and your website does not do a great job showcasing your products and services as well as your team and location then it is time for a new website.

And if you do decide it is time to look at designing a new website we would love to help you! Let’s have a chat about your company’s website and what we could achieve together. Combine add-on internet marketing items such as e-NEWS, Blogging, and Social Media and your website could truly become the focal point of your companies marketing efforts.

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

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