Our focus this month has been on spring cleaning. Truth be told, we could have focused the entire month just on Google-related cleaning! If used properly and frequently, Google’s multitude of applications and services can benefit your company in a big way. We have put together a checklist to help clean up the way your business and Google work together. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 920-322-9522. Remember, as a Google Partner, wisnet.com can help manage any of your Google business needs.
What is it? Google+ is Google’s social platform. Your Google+ page connects you with customers on search, maps, mobile devices, and Google+ itself. It gives your business an online home and lets you build relationships with your customers. Here is ours: https://plus.google.com/+Wisnet
What do I need to do?
Have you claimed your Google+ listing yet? If not, what are you waiting for? People are online searching for your business. After you claim it, add detailed information about your business and make your listing stand out from the crowd. To claim your listing – navigate to your Google+ page and click on “Manage this page.” Then, verify that you are the business owner and begin updating your content.
Or, contact us, and we will claim your listing, create a cover photo and badge for you, and ensure that all of your information is correct. Visit Natural Stone Veneer’s G+ page for an example of a page we monitor and control.
If you have claimed yours, have you been posting fresh content such as photos, blog posts, etc.? Are your address, phone number, and hours still up to date? Connect with your customers by sharing updates, news, and special offers.
What is it? Google Reviews allow users to write a review to let others know about an experience. Different aspects of the business or place can be rated on a 1 to 5 star scale, and users can also write a text summary of their feelings.
What do I need to do? Keeping an eye on your reviews is important. Oftentimes, reviews are the first thing that people click on, even before visiting your site. If the first thing they see is a negative review, they might not even click through to your website! With your Google+ page, you can respond to reviews as the business owner.
What is it? Google Analytics helps you analyze visitor traffic, thus helping to paint a complete picture of your audience and their needs, wherever they are along the path to purchase.
What do I need to do? When was the last time you logged into your Analytics account and took a look at your traffic? Learning about your statistics is key in making your website more useful for visitors.
Why is it important? Google does not like blogs that are covered in cobwebs! Search engines index new content on a regularly basis. Well maintained blogs help drive traffic to your website.
What do I need to do? Writing articles for your blog should not be a chore. Remember, it is still quality over quantity! Share updates about your company along with any news or special offers. Then, share the links on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.
What is it? Another way to help drive sales is using Google AdWords. It helps you find new customers who are looking for what you have to offer. With AdWords, you can set your daily ad budget and you only pay when potential customers click on your ad to visit your website.
What do I need to do? As a Google Partner, we can start and maintain your AdWords account. Contact us if you’d like to have more interested visitors come to your website.
What is it? Google Apps for Business helps your business be more productive from anywhere with online email, calendar, and documents. Keeping everything in one place means less headaches and superior organization.
What do I need to do? Contact us if you’re interested in getting your team on the same page with email, calendars, documents, and more.
You bet it can! If you have a moment, log into your Google Analytics account, and view your mobile statistics. Are you finding that more and more visitors to your site are doing so via mobile phones and tablets, rather than desktop computers? If this is the case, my next question is, how long has this trend been going on? Statistics show that more than 50% of adults now carry a smartphone, and you can bet they are using it for more than just calling and texting. They are using it to research summer vacations, places to eat, places to shop, tourist attractions, etc. Through Google Analytics, you can document this trend. While still viewing your mobile statistics, scroll to the top of the page, and change the date range of the data. Go back three months, six months, or even a year. My bet is that you will see a steady increase in the number of users accessing your site via mobile phones and tablets.
As an example, I pulled mobile analytics data for a visitors bureau website from January 1st to May 1st of 2013, and from January 1st to May 1st of 2014, and this is what I found…
Desktop: 35301 visitors
Mobile: 7385 visitors
Tablet: 3767 visitors
Desktop: 31830 visitors
Mobile: 13471 visitors
Tablet: 5328 visitors
As you can see, the number of visitors accessing the site from mobile phones and tablets has almost doubled compared to the same timeframe the previous year. That is pretty amazing. So, now my question is, is your website responsive, meaning mobile-ready? Is it time for some spring cleaning of your site to make it mobile-ready?
If you need more convincing, consider this scenario: A regular visitor to your dated website now has a new smartphone and is excited to explore the technology-driven world of data that is constantly at his fingertips. He opens the browser on his phone and goes directly to your site. The only problem is that the text and links on your site are so small, he cannot read them. He enlarges the view enough to read some of the text, and he attempts to use the navigation, but he is just not having much luck. He concludes that his only solution is to find a site that is usable and easy to navigate on his new phone.
So now, you have a decision to make. Should you continue to ignore your mobile audience? Can you afford to neglect them by not providing a friendly, mobile-ready experience?
If this gets you thinking that now may be the time for a new site, contact us, and we will gladly help get the gears moving to turn that dated site into a well-oiled, mobile-ready machine!
Author: Scott K
Do you wear the same clothes day after day after day? If you did, most people would think you don’t really care about how you look. (We won’t get into the whole hygiene aspect… this is just a metaphor, so let’s run with it.) Your website is just like the image you present of yourself. If you have done nothing new for your site lately, what does that say about your company? Do you want viewers to think you don’t care about your image?
How often you add new content, participate in social networking or add new images, communicates the idea that you want to interact with your clients or web viewers. Ignoring your website to the point that viewers feel it’s the same old same old means you are indifferent. It also means there is very little chance visitors will return to your site again.
Changing your site doesn’t take much time. Doing this makes viewers think you are a vital and thriving business. Your company really does see the importance of having interaction with your viewers.
It’s Spring! It’s time to look at your website style, and look closely. Your site should dress to impress.
You can explain your services in micro-detail and hype your staff’s talents and experience on web page after web page, but it is often your portfolio that is the dominant focal point of your website. Photo galleries, case studies, or whatever else you choose to include in your portfolio represent what your company has achieved, and more importantly, what your company can do for someone else. It’s important that the samples you have in your portfolio are not only the best examples of your work, but show the variety of talents you possess. And since many visitors and prospective clients will not make decisions or commitments after a single visit to your website, it’s extremely important to update your portfolio as often as you can. Offering fresh content with frequency is indicative to returning visitors of your level of productivity. It will impress them, give them a crystal clear vision of your products and services, and keep them engaged.
Website maintenance can sometimes fall through the cracks. If it has been a while since you’ve updated your portfolio, why not rely on the universally celebrated “spring cleaning time” as your inspiration? Once a year is great, but a frequent refresher is better. Schedule 4 to 6 dates in your calendar throughout the year to prompt you to add new portfolio items. Encourage others to take photos and jot down information about projects as they occur so you always have a roster of new items to add.
It’s best if you augment your portfolio samples with details that will interest your audience. For example, if you’re in the construction business, include a few lines that outline the scope of a particular project, any challenges that needed to be addressed, specialized equipment that was utilized, and how the project all came together upon completion. Adding the client name and location adds authenticity to the photos. Include multiple photos of each project, if applicable.
And don’t forget to keep it orderly. If you offer a range of services or products, you will want to separate your items into categories. This helps the prospective customer quickly find the items that interest them most. An appealing, identifiable, verifiable, and continually-updated portfolio offers a panoramic view of your company’s capabilities. Make sure that view isn’t impeded by stale content. Keep it clean. Spring clean!
Have you ever visited a website and thought that the photography was likely the same as when the website was launched in 1996? Whenever I see this, it makes the impression that the entire company is obsolete and irrelevant. Outdated imagery will not leave a positive impact on your clients. The images on your website need to stay fresh.
A great example of current, professional photography on a website is the Fond du Lac Loop. The natural photography does a great job of showing that people of all ages can enjoy the Loop, while also demonstrating the range of activities one can do while on the Loop. When the season changes, so does the photography! This is a great way to illustrate that the loop can be used all year long. Even if your company’s offerings do not change with the seasons, updated photography shows that you are putting forth the effort to keep your site fresh. If that effort has been put into the aesthetics of the photography, customers will typically assume that the same amount of effort has been put into the site content.
It is an extremely important component of your website that helps set the tone and mood. Once you have decided it is time to update, you will need to choose between new, professional photography or using stock photography. If you need help in making this decision, please reference my previous blog post, “Should I use original or stock photography?” where I discuss key factors in deciding whether to pay a photographer to take your photos or to purchase the images online.
Please do not forget that wisnet.com’s own Brian Kolstad does beautiful photography! Whether it is new headshots for your team page, location images, or product photography, the new, tasteful imagery will give your website the boost it deserves. His photos, along with any necessary retouching by wisnet.com’s experienced designers, will help sell you, your products, and your business.
Author: Scott K
You’ve looked at the same stuff for months and months. “Our Team” photographs that are really outdated. Blog articles that go back to 2012. That old Facebook page that has been on your “to do” list since… forever. Your website feels tired. It has lost the excitement it once had. It’s become “same old same old.”
But now, with flowers popping up and birds singing, the smell of spring is in the air! It’s the time of year we look forward to. It re-energizes us. It’s time for spring cleaning… on your website!
We can help you check for broken links, pull out those testimonials that are losing relevance, and dig in and replant your Google listings.
If your website has the same look and feel that it’s had since the Packers last won the Super Bowl, then it’s time for us to review your design and content. When you have a fresh new website, it gives you a great reason to update your contacts and contact them. Let them admire the new you!
Spring is the time of renewal. Let’s get together and look hard at what your site is doing. Make it fresh again, so you can fall in love with it again.