What is a Hero Image?  We get this question often.  The reason web design prospects ask us “What is a Hero Image?” is because often times they are hearing this industry jargon term from another person in the web design or development business.  Perhaps it’s a family friend who has some experience in web design, or maybe it’s a business colleague who has some limited web programming experience.  Either way, the information

How to break up with your web-savvy-but-oh-so-busy friend.
Client: Two years ago my friend helped me with my website. She really did everything. Since then she has changed positions in her job and has started a family. I had a few updates for my website, but she takes so long to get back with me. I don’t even know how to sign in to my website. How can I make the break and still keep her friendship? I really would like to update a lot and feel like I have no idea where to start.
Our Advice: To put it simply I would recommend –honesty. Your friend did you a great service by helping with your website and that shouldn’t go unappreciated. Two years ago websites were different. Your friend is now on a track serving her own life and might welcome the opportunity to unload the website responsibilities on to you or someone else. She might be just as nervous as you are to bring up the topic in fear of damaging your friendship. Business is business and yours needs to stay fresh and modern. That is reason enough to send her a quick email and just tell her the truth. The easiest way to make changes is with a Content Management System that YOU can update yourself. If you don’t have the time, then find a reliable company you can work with.

Inside a BubbleWell let me say this if you try to live in a bubble, you most likely will die in one. If you’re building a business you do not want to lose your biggest investments, Time and Money. In today’s world it’s all about being connected. It may be something you don’t want to do, but you really have to. You can say I have a website that’s keeping me connected, but what is it doing there? Is it like an old phone book keeping the door open or is it more like keeping the door shut! There are so many things your website can do to help grow your business but that is for another conversation. I want to talk about what you can do to help others and then in turn everybody prospers. Like they say, what goes around comes around. I’m a part time Musician and I get paid to play, one thing I’ve always tried to do is hang out with better Musicians. As a Musician, my goal is not only to have fun but mainly to learn something. So that’s why mentors are so important, even in business. And don’t forget you have talents too and you should always be willing to help others, we all have mistakes and successes to share. You know “Givers Gain”! So you ask yourself, how do you do this? Well you need to schedule some time out of your week to get out there. Get out and be involved with Chambers, BNI chapters, go to after hours events and what ever else it takes to make personal connections. Once people get to know the person behind the company name you can start connecting across different social media platforms. I’m sure you’ve heard of the main ones like LinkedIn and Facebook, these are great to advertise on and get your name out there. With your Facebook account you’ll want to create a separate page for your business, keep business and personal separate. The more you connect with people and become like minded you’ll discover the best social networks to connect with and what works for you. These new connections and business associates will have something to offer, it’s called experience and you can do the same for them. One of the biggest things is to be real and be honest, better to be yourself it’s always easier to remember the truth.

3 Blog ideas for your small businessContent is the key to having your website show up on Google.  But often times, small business owners don’t know where to start with website content.  In an effort to assist you in getting started, we’ve compiled 3 blog ideas for your small business. What you need to make this work:
  • You need a website, ideally with a blog or a place to put the content
  • A little bit of time to create a blog article (or the desire to hire it out)
  • Some creative juices.
Let’s define blog briefly.  A blog is a term for a location on your website where you add content, generally with ease, that is related to your business or industry, but may not be directly related to a product or service.  Often times it’s used as a place to provide insight to your readers and show that you are knowledgeable and are an expert in your specific industry.

The Grind of Small Business WebsitesI recently met with a small business owner and the topic came back around to growing our respective businesses.  He has been in business for a few years and I have been in business for over 14 years, 11 of those full time.  He asked me how I managed to grow my business?  “What works for you?”, he said.  “How quickly did you grow?”.  As I began to reflect on the years, I  thought of the many challenges I faced, as well as the successes I’ve had, but my mind kept pointing back to hard work. As a small business owner,  you have to dedicate yourself to your business, to its’ success, and to its’ commitments.  It takes hard work, long hours, late night appointments, weekend phone calls, and even weekends in the office.  It’s a grind, but if done right...it’s a very rewarding grind! As I meet with many small business owners about their websites, I find that they often want quick success, however that is not the reality.  Site traffic builds over time, and it may eventually level off.  Conversion rates build over time, and that too may level off.  Your website isn’t all that different from you in the sense of how long it takes to be efficient and effective.  The goal however is to build something that has the potential to grow.  

The Ying and Yang of Google PlusI see eyes roll in the general business sector when the words Google Plus are mentioned.  Often times the thought is “Geez, yet another social media site I need to manage?”.  This is a very relevant, and often true statement.  I wanted to break down the Pro’s and Cons (Ying and Yang) of Google Plus for you so that you can make an educated decision on whether or not this is right for your business. Yes...Google Plus is a social medi a site, similar to Facebook.  In fact it’s more like Facebook than Twitter.  But that doesn’t mean that it has the mass appeal that Facebook does.  In fact, there are studies that show minimal site usage of Google Plus on a daily basis. So...who is on Google plus?  Primarily Website Developers, coders, and small business owners.  Here’s why. Website Developers and Coders know that having a Google Plus account is a huge benefit to having their site rank well on Google.  It should be a no brainer that if you want to rank high, you should have an account on just about everything that Google owns.  They link them all together for better results and a better user experience.  Hence Youtube…..Use it!  It’s owned by Google too!

Twitter is in the coffin but is it dead yet?By now, virtually anyone with a pulse knows what Twitter is and that a lot of people use it. What most people don’t realize is how close Twitter is to being DEAD. Jack Dorsey is the founder of Twitter and launched his first tweet in 2006 before becoming CEO.  In 2008 he was fired for a variety of messy reasons, some of them centered around the lack of company performance. That didn’t help much. Twitter continued to not capitalize on its popularity and failed to deliver any real revenue. The company eventually rehired Jack Dorsey as the CEO in 2015.  Stop me if you’ve heard this story before (see Steve Jobs and Apple). Twitter is the social network of choice for many folks, but I have failed to see businesses take advantage of any advertising on Twitter. Personally, I use Twitter often, but I have never advertised on it.  I just don’t see the benefits.  This seems to be the stumbling block to Twitter becoming a sustainable business model. If the majority of users don’t see any value in advertising on Twitter and don’t buy into it, then only the minority will.  But will the minority – primarily large ad agencies -- bring enough business to Twitter to keep it alive? I doubt it.

The way businesses communicate with customers and clients has certainly changed over the years. Businesses are looking for better ways to increase sales revenue, increase lead generation, improve lead nurturing, improve the lead quality, and reduce the sales cycle. If you’re nodding your head thinking yup, I want all that for my business, then Marketing Automation may just be your answer. [caption id="attachment_5715" align="aligncenter" width="536"]Source: Sharp Spring Source: Sharp Spring[/caption]

How to get your website ranked on GoogleCurrently, in the digital age where information technology has taken a firm hold of the globe’s attention, numerous online businesses/companies are prioritizing effective web strategies. From the looks of it, they face a forceful resistance from the web marketplace. With an array of tools and techniques at their disposal, pinpointing and employing the right methods of contact creation, lead generation, and conversion is most usually too overwhelming. Can you guess a particular instance or tactic that can push you in the right direction towards achieving all the three objectives above? That’s right! Being a well ranked, top listed website on the most popular search engines. That brings us to the question of how to be a ranked website on google?

We believe in finding people who compliment our business and who believe in our same core values. We are proud to have partnered with Carolyn MacCloud to help head up our email marketing. Carolyn is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of strategic...