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Top 10 WordPres Plugins from Tap House Media

Tap House Media builds A LOT of WordPress websites. We see trends come and go, themes rise to the A+ list, and plugins become even more plentiful and powerful over time. I have my favorites — plugins that I use with every single website I build, ones that have stood the test of time and perform consistently without issues, and ones that have helped me grow my business. Lucky for you, most of them are in this list that we’re sharing. We want to spread the love (and our secret tips) for choosing the most useful and important plugins to accompany your WordPress website.

Below are our picks for 11 MUST HAVE WordPress Plugins to help your business website perform optimally, generate leads, and stay safe and secure:

LeadPages logoLeadPages: LeadPages is definitely, without a doubt, one of the top lead generation software applications on the market. It comes with a plethora of integrations, including, yep, you guessed it, WordPress. This plugin allows you to incorporate your beautifully designed landing pages into your website and also connect your opt-in offers (*think – email signups) right into your website with timed displays, location variation, and more. This is a must-have for ANY business focused on generating more leads and growing their email list. Click here to try Leadpages for yourself!

WP Rocket: Website speed is important. Have you ever visited a website that took forever to load? What did you do? You peaced out of there and found something else, am I right? Let’s not let that happen to you. With WP Rocket, your website will be supercharged for speed with powerful caching, static file compression, database optimization, and more.

Mobile Monkey WordPress PluginMobile Monkey: Lead generation and list building have never been easier with this beauty of a plugin. Mobile Monkey harnesses the power of Facebook messenger to connect with your audience on a whole new level. Think drip campaigns, chatbots, scheduling, lead nurturing all through the most popular social media tool, Facebook. Set up intuitive workflows without using one line of code. Sounds amazing, right? This plugin is so genius it even answers FAQ’s so you’re not glued to your phone 24/7. Even better is that Mobile Monkey has a FREE option with everything you need to build and deploy powerful chatbots for websites, facebook ads, bulk messaging, and more. Thank you, Mobile Monkey!

Ewww Image OptimizerEwwww image optimizer: Sometimes, and by sometimes I mean ALL THE TIME, we see websites that are completely bogged down by imagery that is not optimized. Not everyone has software to do this before uploading their beautiful photographs to WordPress, we get it. But it’s important to have appropriately sized imagery on your website to increase speed, performance, and conversion rates. This FREE plugin does all that for you. Just install and watch your pics shrink and your website speed up.

Yoast SEO: OMG, if you don’t have this plugin installed you’re nuts! This is by far the best, easiest tool to increase your SEO reach out there. It’s extremely easy to use and offers tutorials on pretty much every option you’ll need to build your SEO profile. With easy title tag, metadata, and keyword integration, you’d be CRAY not to install this on your website. Do it!

CSS Hero PluginCSS Hero: WordPress themes (templates) rely on CSS for their visual appearance. If you need to make customizations, you’ll need to learn a new language – CSS. Ain’t nobody got time for that! CSS Hero is a plugin that allows you to customize any WordPress theme without writing (or learning) a single line of code. If you find your theme has limitations, this plugin is a definite must-have for you.

Insert Headers & Footers Plugin, Tap House MediaInsert Headers & Footers: Chances are you’re using Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel to track visitors to your website. Good! Adding the accompanying code to your website can get tricky. You’ll want to stay away from adding it into your main theme files as that can get messy and potentially break your site – we’ve seen it happen. This plugin will allow you to add your tracking script to your theme files without a potentially fatal outcome. Two thumbs up for this one!

Backup Buddy PluginBackup Buddy: You need to back up your website often, especially if you’re making updates and blogging consistently. Anything can happen in cyberland and an attack on your hosting server can result in a website disaster. This plugin will allow you to automate your backups and send to a cloud storage space like Google or Dropbox for safe keeping.

WordFence WordPress PluginWordFence: Security is a necessity with open source software like WordPress. WordFence not only comes with robust login security features but their security scan component alerts you quickly in the event of a security issue. Other amazing features include security incident recovery tools and powerful blocking mechanisms for complex and brute force attacks.  

Monster Insights, WordPressMonster Insights: This is by far the BEST Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to connect your analytics right to your website so you can see stats fast and easy – no need to sign in to your analytics account. This will easily help you to measure your ROI and make informed decisions about advertising and optimizing your website.

WP Forms pluginWP Forms: Wp Forms is the most intuitive, lightweight, and easy to learn drag and drop contact form plugin out there. It’s our top pick for a contact form for so many reasons. It’s so simple to use, a WordPress beginner can handle it. Additional features include payment integration, order forms, file uploads, and more. There is a free version but we suggest springing for the pro version if you’re looking to expand on your capabilities. You won’t regret it!

With all the WordPress options floating around out there, we hope you found this list helpful in your next plugin decision-making process. Stay tuned for more tips and advice!!SEO Course To Grow Your Online Traffic

 

best wordpress hosting

WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), is far more than just the simple blogging platform. WordPress has the capability to be transformed into an intricately designed website with unique bells and whistles whipped up by the most seasoned website designer. The software has a huge library of free and premium themes and plug-ins that make it the foundation that holds millions of websites, including personal and small business pages, brands such as Sony, and even big-name high-traffic sites like The New Yorker. If you’ve thought about building a website or are considering a redesign, WordPress is definitely the way to go if you’re setting your sights on growth and lead generation.

Finding the perfect WordPress hosting platform can pose a challenge. This is because it’s a saturated market with thousands of hosting companies claiming to be the “fastest” or have “the best customer service”. Not all WordPress hosting is created equal. Ideally, if you’re a small to medium-sized business generating up to 1,000-2,000 website hits daily, you’ll most likely want website speed and guaranteed uptime to be a priority. Of course, those factors can depend on the health of your website, but having a reliable hosting platform that can guarantee those requirements, among others, will ensure that your website visitors have a positive experience and become loyal customers.

We’ve chosen our Top 3 WordPress Hosting Platforms so you can narrow down your favorite and choose a platform that fits your budget and business goals:

InMotion Hosting WordPressInMotion Hosting: Customer service and support are on the top of the list with this company. You’ll always be able to speak to a real-live human being when challenges or issues arise. No hosting company is perfect but having a team of professionals that can get to the bottom of a website or hosting issue lightening fast is a huge win for any company. As far as reliability goes, they’ve always had a reputation for hitting their 99.9% uptime guarantee. They maintain a status page at status.inmotionhosting.com that reports on their real-time network and server status. With InMotion WordPress hosting, you can count on a huge list of amazing benefits and freebies for a very budget-friendly annual cost, including:

  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Free data backups
  • Independence & community support: InMotion Hosting is one of the few independent companies in the hosting industry, next to Siteground.
  • Free SSL
  • Free “No Downtime” website transfers
  • Free domain
  • Advanced server caching
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Free advertising credits
  • Easy Google apps integration
  • And more…

 

SiteGround WordPress HostingSiteGround: Like InMotion hosting, SiteGround is an independent web hosting company founded in 2004. Their WordPress hosting plans come with a variety of awesome tools for fast development and easy management of your site, including:

  • 1 click installer
  • Auto-updates
  • Super cacher
  • WordPress stager
  • And More

With a plan from SiteGround, you can rest assured that you’ll receive support access 24/7. With virtually “no wait time on chat and phone and around 10 minutes for the first response in our ticketing system,” SiteGround consistently achieves nearly 100% customer satisfaction from their clients. Their hosting platform is built on the latest SSD hardware with an added caching tool for blazing speed. Lastly, their “security experts” constantly monitor for WordPress related vulnerabilities and proactively protect users with custom WAF rules when needed. They also auto-update WordPress and its plugins and make daily backups of your hosting account. Seriously, what more could you ask for? Oh, wait, SiteGround is also officially recommended by WordPress.org as one of the “best and brightest” WordPress hosting providers. With an annual fee comparable to InMotion hosting, I’d say those 2 are the TOP choices for small to medium-sized businesses.

 

WP Engine WordPress HostingWP Engine: WP Engine is known as the Cadillac of WordPress hosting. This is because they don’t even mess around with hosting websites other than WordPress. They eat, drink, and breathe WordPress. Because of this, any question or concern you have about your site will be addressed with award-winning support and a knowledge base that extends from simple how-to questions to more complex issues. Plans with this platform begin with a personal 1 site option to a robust enterprise-grade for seriously high-traffic websites. WP Engine hosts websites such as National Geographic, Warby Parker, and PBS International. All plans come with a 60-day money back guarantee and include:

  • 24/7 chat support
  • Local storage (starting with 10GB)
  • PHP 7 ready
  • Automated SSL certificates
  • CDN access
  • And More…

Another win for WP Engine is they run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked – they take care of it for free. Now, because of their reputation as “The WordPress Platform of Choice”, WP Engine comes at a slightly higher cost than InMotion and Siteground –  Starting at $29/M for a personal site install. We highly recommend this hosting platform if your small to medium-sized business is reaching new levels of greatness and you’re outgrowing your current website platform and ready to take your website marketing to the next level.

Like any service, it’s not about what is best overall, but what is best for your business based on goals, budget, & habits. With InMotion hosting, SiteGround, and WP Engine, you’ll be able to host your website with confidence knowing that you’ll receive superior support, guaranteed uptime, and fast server speed that will reflect professionalism and keep your customers returning to your website.

Increase Your Website Traffic, Tap House Media

Dr. Wilson of Acupetvet

 

Dr. Tasha Wilson loves needles – acupuncture needles, that is. She’s so confident in its ability to treat and heal chronic pain and disease that she’s set up shop in her Jeep and travels to her patient’s homes. For these pet owners, Dr. Wilson’s services have been a godsend! For injured and elderly dogs, receiving veterinary care at home makes it SO much easier to relax and find comfort. We’ve all seen that dog in the waiting room panting, hiding behind its owner, or worse, laying of the floor refusing to move. Yea, that’s stressful for all parties involved. Dr. Wilson wanted to make it easy for everyone and bring her healing tools to the animals. Mission complete!

Dr. Tasha Wilson of AcupetvetMy first encounter with Dr. Wilson was when I summoned her to help my elderly border collie, Maggie. Maggie was an amazing dog – the best! She caught frisbee’s, chased balls, and hiked mountains. She was so intelligent that I probably could have trained her to fetch me a beer from the fridge. She was 13.5 years old and hurtin’ from her years of adventure. I needed to find her treatment that didn’t involve sedation. She had a weak stomach and pills made her nauseous. Dr. Wilson began acupuncture and cold laser therapy treatment twice a week, eventually weaning her down to once a week. She was a NEW dog – spunky, happy, goofy. It was like voodoo magic. She thrived and Dr. Wilson and I connected often about Maggie’s progress and future treatment plan. Because of this service, Maggie went on to live to 15 years and 1-month-old – wicked old for a dog. She loved her family and smiled til the day she passed away.

When Dr. Wilson approached me about a website redesign, I jumped at the chance to turn her into a Tap House Media client. Her business is so unique and had so much potential for growth. I knew we could turn her website into a marketing platform that engaged potential clients and converted leads. We began with an updated UX experience and placed her most important services on the top navigation. We also strategically placed call-to-actions around the site making it easy for clients to schedule appointments. Giving the user an easy walk through on the home page was our goal. No fluff – just facts about Dr. Wilson and her service benefits. A strategic SEO strategy was implemented along with a lead generation campaign for her popular New Patient Package. Stay tuned for a blog in the works!

Find yourself intrigued? Take a browse through her website at acupetvet.net

 

Increase Your Website Traffic, Tap House Media

increase-website-traffic

Increasing website traffic is on every entrepreneur’s list. Website design has evolved drastically over the last 2-3 years and staying on top of new trends in functionality can be challenging for a small – medium sized business owner with a to-do list a mile long. Even trying to understand all the new terminology, such as “mobile optimization” and “dynamic content,” can get overwhelming. Don’t fret. We’ve got you covered!

Tap House Media has broken down 5 EASY WAYS TO INCREASE WEBSITE TRAFFIC ASAP to help guide you on your journey to brand awareness awesomeness + convert those leads into paying clients, monthly members, and loyal followers!

FOCUS ON AESTHETICS

According to market research, our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Website aesthetic – not the written content on the screen – is your first chance to reach out and grab your audience. Without quality design, your visitors likely won’t take the time to read the content you’ve invested in.

A designer’s job is to create a compelling experience for the reader at the other end of the screen. We do this by using aesthetics and design to expose your brand. Your website should convey the spirit and culture of your company. Are you open and fun, serious and conservative, or friendly and informative? Each of these emotions would require a different imagery, layout and typeface for your website. Even the colors you use will impact visitors’ emotional experience on your site.

Website design elements are exponentially more powerful than content, in terms of mistrust. For example, if you land on a website that is outdated, not functional, and poorly designed with a busy interface and small fonts, you’re more likely to choose to bring your business elsewhere – more than likely to a company that showcases a website with a more professional, thoughtfully planned look.

Websites should be updated/redesigned every 3-5 years to stay up-to-date with new trends in design and functionality.

BOTTOM LINE:

Hire a professional to design the look and feel of your website. A great company will:

Meet face to face – get to know each other on a business/personal level

Take the time to get to know your brand and company culture

Be attentive to your deadlines and the need for updatess

teer you in the right direction

Offer payment plans so you can budget and effectively

 OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE FOR THE USER (NOT FOR YOU):

Your website is a tool that should ultimately serve your audience. From the visual aesthetics to the functionality, all design techniques should work together to improve your site’s ability to serve your potential clients or customers.

74% of businesses believe correcting your site’s user experience is key for improving sales, conversions, and loyalty. Really terrible sites fail because they were designed for a company, not for the reader.

If your visitor doesn’t know where to look and what to do on your page, they will leave. Look at every page element through your reader’s eyes and correct anything that is confusing or out of place. Not only does this serve your visitors, but it will also improve your bounce rates. Working alone? Join a few Facebook groups of like-minded people to get feedback and suggestions for improvement.

BOTTOM LINE:

In 3 – 5 seconds, can someone look at your page and know:

Who your company is

What you do

What you want the visitor to do on the page?

If not, revisit both your value prop and design with a professional team to highlight those important messages.

OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE FOR MOBILE VIEWING (With Responsive Design)

People access your content from multiple devices – iphones, ipads, etc. The evidence of this mobile migration is compelling. Here are a few of the many statistics pointing to audience’s transition to mobile viewing:

65% of U.S. adults sleep with their phones on or near their beds

Over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device.

In the United States, 25% of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device.

61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience.

25.85% of all emails are opened on mobile phones, and 10.16% are opened on tablets.

In mobile SEO, Google penalizes sites that aren’t optimized for responsive design.

BOTTOM LINE:

Having a mobile website is no longer simply a nice feature. It is now a necessity and literally impacts the growth of your business.

BE THE EXPERT IN YOUR INDUSTRY THROUGH BLOGGING & CONTENT MARKETING

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” – Content Marketing Institute

If you’re consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target customer, it will help establish you as an authority in their eyes. This is a great method for Sales and Service professionals, but obviously can be used for ALL business owners. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues via your blog.

BOTTOM LINE:

Begin a plan for content marketing and be consistent! Content marketing drives traffic to your website. Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means it’s one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search.

Content marketing helps convert traffic into leads. Just like every blog post you write is another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. The way this works is really simple – just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post that directs to your landing page (What’s a landing page, you ask? Get in touch with Tap House Media and we’ll talk about how creating landing pages can help sell your service or products).

Blogging also helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest — which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.

SET UP A SEO STRATEGY

If you’re just starting out, there’s really no need to get crazy with SEO quite yet. We suggest starting slow and mastering the basics before diving in head first. Read our suggestions for implementing a simple SEO plan that can make a HUGE impact on your Google rankings in as little as a few weeks.  

 

SEO Course To Grow Your Online Traffic

Working with local and national nonprofit organizations are some of the most fun and rewarding projects for the tap house crew. More often than not, we’re able to really tap into our creativity and lead the organization into some serious brand awareness and give their marketing efforts and website presence a huge overhaul. This was the case with the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA).

UOAA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports, empowers, and advocates for people who have had or who will have ostomy or continent diversion surgery. When their administration presented Tap House Media with their website concerns and vision for their future, we knew this project would take some intense brain power and organization to consolidate information, marry their past history with their future brand goals, and present their national audience with serious and engaging information to people who have undergone ostomy or continent diversion surgery.

First and foremost, our goal was to take their website presence to the next level. Having almost 50,000 views a month, ostomy.org was already experiencing its fair share of website traffic. But without a responsive design, their former website was becoming subject to Google’s penalties and losing out on reaching more of their target audience. This was a problem!

The project began by creating a clean, modern user experience that took viewers through an educational journey about ostomy awareness. Information was divided up by topic and consolidated to present the most important topics in the ostomy community today. We added an engaging blog and events component where UOAA can advertise their upcoming Run for Resilience 5K’s, Ostomy Awareness Day, and 2019 National Conference. A robust Advocacy page was also added to highlight specific information, successes, and issues affecting people with ostomies.

UOAA’s updated website has given new life to their abundance of resources found throughout the site. Whether you’re a person with an ostomy or continent diversion or family member, friend, or caregiver, ostomy.org should and will be your go to source for support and education.

For more information about UOAA, contact them toll free at 1-800-826-0826.

Website Before Tap House Media:

UOAA website Before

Website After Tap House Media:

Uoaa After

Increase Your Website Traffic, Tap House Media

Home page checklist Tap House Media

Your homepage is traditionally the most visited page on your website. You only have a *few short seconds* to grab your reader’s attention, entice them to read more and click your Call-to-Action. This means your copy and imagery need to spark an instant attraction or chances are your potential lead will be a thing of the past.

Below is our Ultimate Home Page Checklist to help you attract your target audience, design a killer user experience, and start converting more leads to grow your online business.

Simplify Your Navigation: If you have more than 5 or 6 tabs on your navigation structure, it’s time to think about consolidating information and simplifying that design. Less is more in this case and having ONLY your primary services or pages here will help minimize options + user distraction and return the focus to your selling points, opt-ins, and Call to Actions.

Create A Benefit-Drivin Headline: The real estate below your navigation should include a headline that instantly captures your readers attention and justifies why they searched out your website in the first place. Including a captivating image here is key in visually portraying your messaging and complementing your headlines goal. Emphasize the outcomes of working with your business. Think about the one thing your target audience wants and tell them how you can help them achieve it.

Who You Are: Introduce yourself and your services. You can add a few bits about your experience here, your goals for your business, and your mission and commitment to your customers/clients success.

Who Do You Help? This is your chance to tell the world who exactly you serve. Whether it’s the small business community, fitness professionals, the medical community, etc. Here is where you want to explain who your target audience is so visitors to your website immediately know that you’re going to be a good fit for them.

What Problems Do You Solve? Think about who your dream client/customer is. Envision their biggest struggle and show them that you understand what they’re going through by talking about their problem.

The Benefit Of Working With You: Here is your chance to delve into your specific service(s) that you offer and explain the benefits of working with you. What will your clients life be life afterwards? This is your chance to be specific.

Call To Action(s): Now that you’ve explained how amazing you are, you need to give your readers a chance to sign up for your service, contact you for a consultation, download a free offer, etc. Add your CTA’s around your home page so your reader doesn’t have to search too long and hard to find it.

A Photo of You: Readers like to put a face with a name. Add a photo of you or your team here to humanize yourself and help your readers get to know you.

Success Stories: This is a great opportunity to showcase your client testimonials. Place a few happy stories below your service descriptions to show that you have street cred in your industry. These help seal the deal because your readers can see that you’re an expert and really know your stuff.

Opt-In: If you don’t have an opt-in on your home page then you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to grow your email list. Offer something enticing like free information (.pdf), free strategy session with you, or a useful e-guide. Software like LeadPages is an excellent list building tool and offers a *14 day trial* before making a commitment.

 

6 types of video to use in your online marketing

Ever wonder what the difference between a WordPress Theme & Template is? You’re not alone. We get asked that question by potential clients all the time. So much so that we decided to do a WordPress Wisdom video on the differences. In this video, we’ll also explain how to go about finding the best WordPress theme to work with, why doing your research before purchasing is important, and what components to look for before pulling the trigger. Check it out and find clarity on one of the most confusing subjects in WordPress land.

Increase Your Website Traffic, Tap House Media

“What’s the difference between WordPress.com & WordPress.org?”. We get asked this question A LOT. So much so that we decided to explain it to our viewers in simple, broken down terms. Here, we give you the scoop about each platforms PROS + CONS and how to determine which platform is right for you.

Wondering where to begin? Start here:

Determine the goal of your website. Do you want to make money or create brand awareness? Then WordPress.org is your best bet. Are you looking to test your writing skills, have fun, and not spend a lot of startup fees? Then WordPress.com is the perfect match.

Watch our video for more reasons why each platform will benefit your goals differently.

 

Increase Your Website Traffic, Tap House Media

 

Black Friday specials 2017

We’re kicking off the holiday season with Black Friday discounts that won’t last long! If you’ve been on the fence about investing in your marketing efforts this Winter season, now’s the time to jump on our sweet offers and let us help plan your strategy to make 2018 YOUR BEST YEAR YET!

Here’s a super secret sneak peek:

ADVERTISING. BUY 3 MONTHS GET 2 FREE:

digital advertising

Get in the loop with Digital Advertising in the Seacoast. Starting on Friday, when you purchase 3 Months of Digital Advertising on our 10+ displays in Dover & Newmarket, you’ll receive 2 months FREE. We’ve chosen the area’s busiest establishments to get your message out to over 8,000 people who see our displays EACH WEEK! A perfect complement to your holiday marketing.

 

 

PRINTING. 20% OFF YOUR NEXT ORDER.

printingIn need of new business cards, brochures, or sales sheets? What about a giant banner or decal for your walls? We got you covered! Not only do we work with amazing printers in the area but we guarantee lightning FAST turnaround times. Place your next order with us and receive 20% off – whatever the job may be!

 

WEBSITE. $200 OFF OUR PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE PACKAGE.

Website designYes, you read that right. Now is the time to get started on your new or redesigned website. With $200 OFF our *Professional Package*, you’ll not only be saving that sweet sweet dough, but you’ll be investing in your brand the success of your biz in 2018. A new website is ALWAYS a good idea! Save this one for Friday and hop on this deal before it goes buh bye!

 

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO). $50 OFF SEO AUDIT PACKAGE.

SEO AuditWondering how your website + online presence measures up to your competition? A complete SEO audit is the way to go! We’ll provide an easy to follow report of your website, calling out what’s good and bad. Then we’ll give you a full video breakdown with suggestions to make your website a SEO super hero! Don’t worry, you won’t be left in the dust. We can also help you implement the new suggested strategies too.

 

Want to Pre-Register for These AMAZING Deals?

Fill out our form to hold your spot!

4 Essentials for a great website

Online marketing has evolved drastically over the last 2-3 years. Staying on top of new trends in functionality can be challenging for a small business owner. Even trying to understand all the new terminology, such as “mobile optimization” and “dynamic content,” can get overwhelming. Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered! Tap House Media has broken down The 4 Essentials For A Great Website to help guide you on your journey to website greatness.

1. AESTHETICALLY BEAUTIFUL:

According to market research, our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Website aesthetic – not the written content on the screen – is your first chance to reach out and grab your audience. Without quality design, your visitors likely won’t take the time to read the content you’ve invested in.

The designer’s job is to create a compelling experience for the reader at the other end of the screen. We do this by using aesthetics and design to expose your brand. Your website should convey the spirit and culture of your company. Are you open and fun, serious and conservative, or friendly and informative? Each of these emotions would require a different imagery, layout and typeface for your website. Even the colors you use will impact visitors’ emotional experience on your site.

Website design elements are exponentially more powerful than content, in terms of mistrust. For example, if you land on a website that is outdated, not functional, and poorly designed with a busy interface and small fonts, you’re more likely to choose to bring your business elsewhere – more than likely to a company that showcases a website with a more professional, thoughtfully planned look.

Websites should be updated/redesigned every 3-5 years to stay up-to-date with new trends in design and functionality.

BOTTOM LINE:

Hire a professional to design the look and feel of your website. A great company will:

1. Meet face to face – get to know each other on a business/personal level
2. Take the time to get to know your brand and company culture
3. Be attentive to your deadlines and need for updates
4. Steer you in the right direction

2. OPTIMIZED FOR THE USER:

Your website is a tool that should ultimately serve your audience. From the visual aesthetics to the functionality, all design techniques should work together to improve your site’s ability to serve.

74% of businesses believe correcting your site’s user experience is key for improving sales, conversions, and loyalty. Really terrible sites fail because they were designed for a company, not for the reader.

If your visitor doesn’t know where to look and what to do on your page, they will leave. Look at every page element through your readers’ eyes and correct anything that is confusing or out of place. Not only does this serve your visitors, it will also improve your bounce rates.

BOTTOM LINE:

In 3 – 5 seconds, can someone look at your page and know: Who your company is, what you do, and what you want the visitor to do on the page? If not, revisit both your value prop and design with a professional team to highlight those important messages.

3. OPTIMIZED FOR MOBILE VIEWING (With Responsive Design)

People access your content from multiple devices – iphones, ipads, etc. The evidence of this mobile migration is compelling. Here are a few of the many statistics pointing to audience’s transition to mobile viewing:

1. 65% of U.S. adults sleep with their phones on or near their beds
2. Over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device.
3. In the United States, 25% of internet users only access the internet on a mobile
device.
4. 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile
experience.
5. 25.85% of all emails are opened on mobile phones, and 10.16% are opened on
tablets.
6. In mobile SEO, Google penalizes sites that aren’t optimized for responsive
design.

BOTTOM LINE:

Having a mobile website is no longer simply a nice feature. It is now a necessity and literally impacts the growth of your business.

4.CONTENT MARKETING

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” – Content Marketing Institute

If you’re consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target customer, it will help establish you as an authority in their eyes. This is a great method for Sales and Service professionals, but obviously can be used for ALL business owners.

Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues via your blog.

BOTTOM LINE:

Begin a plan for content marketing and be consistent!

Content marketing drives traffic to your website. Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means it’s one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search.

Content marketing helps convert traffic into leads. Just like every blog post you write is another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. The way this works is really simple – just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post that directs to your landing page.

Blogging also helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you write a blog post,  you’re creating content that people can share on social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest — which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.

6 types of video to use in your online marketing