Tag: Peter Beare

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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.

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“See Inside” with Google Virtual Tour

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About a year ago “or so” I said to an associate I think I need to really focus on cleaning up the front of my residence as Google was using the front of our house as the street view that you would see when you searched for Bear Web Design. (We have since relocated to an Office on Lebanon Pike but the challenge remains with how we look from the street). Google uses street view (called “See Outside”) to show the front street view of each business as part of the Google My Business / Google Maps listing. It seemed pretty obvious to me – if the view looks old or run down you may just be losing prospects. I must admit I was excited at the idea of the concept “Google Friendly Landscaping” being someone who loves gardening but also realized how many businesses may look “HORRIBLE” from the street view. And even worse – Google can quite often show the wrong building or ajoining structure in street view and totally put off the searcher…

So before you go running to the front of your building (and start crying if it doesn’t look that good) Google has recently launched a great new service called Virtual Tour that actually shows the inside of your business (professionally photographed in a 360 view). This is called “See Inside” and it showcases the inside of your business and it also does additional professional street view photos to ensure YOU LOOK GREAT! We have our first client using this technology – Justin Patel of Integrity Investments and his Holiday Inn Express and Baymont Inn are both in the process of setting up this service. Another business that Justin owns has just completed this process is Primings Cigar Lounge & Bar and folks get ready to get WOWED!

See Inside With Google Virtual Tours 

Here is the link to see the view – https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=primings%20cigar%20lounge – and select “See Inside” on the right hand side of the search result… and voila you are in 360 view… You can literally walk thru the entire inside of the business (and sure enough Primings Cigar Lounge & Bar looks absolutely Gorgeous!)….  Play around with the views – walk thru the business and think about how a prospect or customer may have a great experience doing this in your business.

You will also note that the photos to the left are the same professional photos that were taken from the 360 view.  And we can take the same virtual tour links and add them to Justin’s website so we can get people visiting your website to take a 360 virtual tour quickly!

So how do you get this service?  Google Certificated Photographers are the folks currently charged with providing this service. You can see by this example that they know what they are doing and their results are outstanding. There are costs that can vary pending how much photography work is done – but you are paying a one time fee for this setup – no ongoing costs and basically the 360 view remains in place for the lifetime of business.  Just imagine how much traffic this may receive over the years.

And the best thing is that you are now fully controlling the photos that are showed by Google. It is no longer a maybe good or maybe not so good street view. It is professional presentation at its best. So what business would this suite?  Retail, Restaurant, Café’s, Specialty Stores, Events and Promotional Business – basically any business that can entice the customer into their business by showing off the inside of the business…

Bear Web Design has commenced working with American Marketing & Publishing, L.L.C and local rep Joy Collins who is helping us offer this service to our customers. Please contact me and I will be happy to share more information and general costs for this service. We can also setup an appointment to meet with Joy if we feel this is a good match for your business. I am absolutely excited about Google’s 360 view and look forward to “everyone” seeing the Inside of your business soon!

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Do You Know What Content Marketing is?

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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!)

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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