Make a Website Yours – It’s Simple

Getting a website going doesn’t feel like small potatoes!  Creating logos, styling, creating the content, and cost can all seem so overwhelming. Where do I start?  Is it worth the investment?

Well, listen up!  I’ve got you covered.  I’ll share a few things to ease your mind.

Let this information sink in:  About 81% of adults have a smartphone and use it over 1 1/2 hours a day to look at media (stats by Nielson Co.).  It’s wild to think about!  That’s a whole lot of eye balls potentially viewing your products or services!

3 Benefits of a Self-Hosted Website

1. A Website Makes You Visible

It’s a noisy, distracting world out there.  How is your business seen unless it stands above the crowd?  Window shopping is now done by searching Google (notice I didn’t say Facebook) before making a purchase.  Your website becomes a platform for you to stand above the crowd.

2. You Can Be Heard

A website is your place to be heard.  Here’s where you share the heart of your business. Once you capture their attention, you are able to provide value to these prospects, even on a large scale.
You’ll then also be able to:
  • Provide Value
  • Give Credibility
  • Convey Your Company Values
  • Make Your Business Legitimate
  • Provide Another Marketing Channel

3. Engage With Your Audience

Social media has changed the way we do business.  A website is no different!  You can engage with your REAL customers that come to your site, collect information, gather feedback, and more!

 

Don’t Make It Too Complicated

Here’s what you need…

1. You need a website name (domain name).  Need help choosing a name?  Check out this article here.

2. You’ll need, well, a website.  This is the creative aspect and initial investment.  This may help you see what services you’d need.

3. Then you’ll need a company to “host” the website on their computer.

The hardest part is gathering good content and quality pictures!

All of these things can be done on your own or done with the help of a web design or marketing company.  Obviously the cheapest, but sometimes least professional way, is doing things all on your own.  If you are gifted this way, great!  I’m happy to be a resource for you to call with questions.

Doing it yourself can be tiring, though.  If it would distract you from what you really need to spend time doing, then have someone help you.  But avoid the temptation of using sites like Wix, Squarespace or WordPress.com, which you wouldn’t fully own in the end.

I’d love the opportunity just to talk with you about your specific situation and how we can meet your individual needs.

 

Get More Web Traffic

What You Need to Know

Is your website traffic flat? Or worse, declined?

 

You keep waiting for that search engine optimization (SEO) you just added to start working, but so far, nothing! You might have been even promised results and you’re left shaking your head.

 

Here Are 4 Ways to Increase Web Traffic

 

1. You Really Do Need SEO Setup

This is an ever-evolving animal. Google (and others) have a revolving algorithm that determines who gets put on top of the search results. Pick a very specific keyword for each page and post. That’s how you will get put to the top the fastest! Having a unique keyword will make you stand out.

If what you have isn’t working, try another word. Here’s a resource to check your key words. My go to plugin for SEO is Yoast SEO. This article will give you much more info on SEO and Keywords.

2. Use Google Search Console

Google Search Console is free and will help you find words to use for SEO; it will also show you what people were searching for to find your site and the number of hits you’ve had. You just have to have a Google account to make a search console.

3. Be Verified on Google My Business

“Local Search” is your new best friend, so be on Google My Business. There are ways that search engines will point users to local establishments when you are 1. closest AND 2. meet the search criteria. So when someone types “mens jewelry wilmington nc” into a local search, they will only see businesses that have “mens jewelry” as keywords closest to the center of Wilmington, NC.

To make sure you are verified, sign up for Google My Business here. Fill in as much info as you can, but most importantly your local address, business phone and website. Then be sure to have your business verified, usually by mail.

Then sit back and watch your business pop up in Google Maps searches! You can even download the Google Business App.

4. Stand Out From The Crowd

Whenever you notice your competition is not doing something that you know is popular, do it! For example: Your competition isn’t making videos. Video is so popular right now! So make some videos. Don’t be afraid, either. They never start out the best, but over time, you’ll get the hang of it.

 

One Step at a Time

 

There’s always more we can do to improve our SEO! Don’t let some email or marketer tell you they have the secret to getting you to the top of the search results. There IS NO secret!

If there’s anything I can do to clarify or help you wade through the SEO soup, please reach out. I’m happy to help or point you in the right direction.

Tech Tips

Tech Tips

1.  Be sure you have a Virus Scan program and it’s up-to-date. I never recommend anyone paying for this service. One, FREE versions are good enough. Second, the paid versions are too robust! I’ve seen computers run slower with paid programs. Windows 10 (and 8) come with FREE scanners, called Windows Defender, and it should be running automatically. You can check under SETTINGS to be sure. I think this works fine. For Windows 7 I have used Microsoft Security Essentials most (FREE) (link here) and AVG FREE VERSION (link here).

2. Run a Malware scanner? Anytime someone calls me about a slow computer, this is the first thing I recommend. Every month or 2, I run Malwarebytes (link here). It’s free to download and use, but it will want you to upgrade ($) after 30 days. Just say NO when the time comes.

3. Need Speed? You may know that you can upgrade most computers by adding memory (RAM). You also may know that you get what you pay for in a computer. So when you spent a lot when initially buying the computer, it may have been because of the motherboard or “CPU” being an Intel i5 or i7.

BUT a third way to speed up your computer (mostly Desktops because this is a cheaper trick) is to add a Solid State hard drive to your computer to run it on. Solid State drives are drives that don’t spin and use similar technology that’s in your smartphone.

Get Your Cracked Screen Fixed!

We promise to beat the price of the competition

All Apple devices, including iPads and iPhones

We also replace batteries!

 

 


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3 Myths to Starting an Email Campaign

Email Campaign Ripple Effect

Start an Email Campaign!

But do as I say, not as I do.

So you have a small business?  You have a limited (or no) marketing budget. Your time is very precious, but you want to connect with your customers or start an email campaign.  Sound right?  Well I agree and often don’t heed my own advise!

Emailing your fans and customers probably doesn’t seem to fit your schedule, then.  Few in the small business world do as awesomely consistent job with email marketing.  There’s always a “good” reason to put it off.  Topping the list seems to be: “I really don’t see a a direct return on this investment” and “I’m really not a writer” or “I hate getting emails, so they probably do too!”

Can I change your mind?  Since email marketing is (mostly) FREE, AND still has the greatest return on investment (ROI), then there must be something to it!

 

The 3 Myths

1. Email Doesn’t Provide a Good Return of Investment

Your email (as long as it isn’t marked as SPAM) WILL HIT your customers’ inbox 100% of the time!  How much time do you spend on Facebook or Twitter?  On average, less than 20% of those posts on social media will be fed to your followers.  That’s all!  Then why not spend a fraction of the time targeting a multitude of people?

How many times do you check your email each day?  Many people start and end their day checking their inbox.  Then, during the day, they check it several times.  Plan your email to send at a convenient time for your customers. Make it catch their eye and they will read it or come back to it.

 

2. I’m Not a Writer

Most people aren’t writers.  You don’t have to be.  Just pick your best time of the day and week that you aren’t trying to pressure yourself to be creative.  Then it’s just about practice.  Don’t try to make it the perfect newsletter.  Getting things done is better than perfection!

 

3. I Hate Getting Emails, So They Probably Do Too

Think again.  If you are sending information that your fans want, then why would they hate getting it?  There will be some on your list that never should be on your list.  Or were on the list for a season and now aren’t needing your information.  But it you target very specifically to these different groups of people, then BINGO.  Think about what value you can add to their world.  Then provide it!

Start by answering “what one or two questions to you always get people asking you?”  Then answer the question(s).  Provide a discount for the Holidays or offer a special invitation.  Share a story.  You might not get people to read your whole email, but if you are consistent in sending messages, eventually you will get noticed, or eventually they will have the time.

If you need additional information or help with this topic, I’d be happy to help.


 

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WordPress Security Announcement

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Attention WordPress Users!

A recent post from WordPress has addressed some security concerns.  Make sure to update your plugins and WP version to the latest.  If you don’t know how, just ask your web designer.

Here is the article they posted on their site HERE.

WordPress 4.1.2 is now available (4-21-15)

This is a critical security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

WordPress versions 4.1.1 and earlier are affected by a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability, which could enable anonymous users to compromise a site. This was reported by Cedric Van Bockhaven and fixed by Gary Pendergast, Mike Adams, and Andrew Nacin of the WordPress security team.

We also fixed three other security issues:

  • In WordPress 4.1 and higher, files with invalid or unsafe names could be uploaded. Discovered by Michael Kapfer and Sebastian Kraemer of HSASec.
  • In WordPress 3.9 and higher, a very limited cross-site scripting vulnerability could be used as part of a social engineering attack. Discovered by Jakub Zoczek.
  • Some plugins were vulnerable to an SQL injection vulnerability. Discovered by Ben Bidner of the WordPress security team.

We also made four hardening changes, discovered by J.D. Grimes, Divyesh Prajapati, Allan Collins, Marc-Alexandre Montpas and Jeff Bowen.

We appreciated the responsible disclosure of these issues directly to our security team. For more information, see the release notes or consult the list of changes.

Download WordPress 4.1.2 or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and simply click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update to WordPress 4.1.2.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to 4.1.2: Allan Collins, Alex Concha, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Ozz, Ben Bidner, Boone Gorges, Dion Hulse, Dominik Schilling, Drew Jaynes, Gary Pendergast, Helen Hou-Sandí, John Blackbourn, and Mike Adams.

A number of plugins also released security fixes yesterday. Keep everything updated to stay secure. If you’re a plugin author, please read this post to confirm that your plugin is not affected by the same issue. Thank you to all of the plugin authors who worked closely with our security team to ensure a coordinated response.

Already testing WordPress 4.2? The third release candidate is now available (zip) and it contains these fixes. For more on 4.2, see the RC 1 announcement post.