I have been physically out of pocket at the office for several months as I have been running in/out of meetings all over Northwest Indiana with our partners and clients. The benefit is the growth we have experienced is great as we are able to grow and employ more awesome people. But that growth comes at a price and today I want to write about what has happened and some hard decisions that I, as the owner and the person ultimately responsible, am making to 'fix' the problem. Now I say 'fix' as I don't know if these will truly fix the problem. I know they won't hurt things but as an agile company we have to change and adapt, do so quickly, efficiently, and constantly evolve.
It's rough, it's beyond uncut, and it's shooting straight from the hip and telling it like it is. There are no circles, squares, or triangles to get out of with us. Those things just don't exist. Our new video and soon pod cast series (just audio without the handsome actors -- okay not actors) deliver news and information related to digital marketing (with a splash of regular marketing), web design, software development, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and the latest things as they happen. It will not be unheard of when breaking news in these subjects come out that we'll be fast on the change and streaming it live.
We took on a monumental challenge this past week. We had a new client using Adobe Muse. Nothing special about that beside the fact they learned that Adobe Muse is being retired in a few years and they wanted to be ahead of the curve and were already concerned the product wasn't working the way they needed it to. The largest concern with the Adobe Muse site was they stated the website loaded slow with the fastest page being around fifteen seconds to load. So we took a look and these are our findings with their site.
If you are not working to create content for your business, you are working toward a company that does not grow. Content is King and brings people into your world by telling an important set of stories to bring them into your world. Engagement is Queen and she truly rules the roost. Both need crowns, and both are equal and without either your business will fail. It is truly that simple and let’s look at what content is and how you need to be creating it today.
The first thing to cover is this is not legal advice. This is a culmination of over thirty blog articles and our take on GDPR from our friends at the European Union (EU). First, let’s cover what GDPR stands for. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and ultimately is designed to protect consumers. Personally, I feel this is a very good thing and if the United States legislature get’s it right they will copy it as it’s forcing businesses to be more transparent, honest (our rule #1), and helps make the internet a place people will want to be. In American we might think that these rules might not apply to us. We would be completely wrong with the age of the internet. The internet makes even a brand new, just opened today, one man/woman shop into an international business whether intended or not. Let’s look at what businesses need to do at a high-level to comply with GDPR.
Politics and social media have changed forever due to a recent decision that changes how political accounts function and engage with others online. The questions is, are you ready to deal with the changes?
Okay, okay, it sounds like a bad word but really it isn’t. Really. We just are using the acronym here as it did grab your attention. This article though is intended for those that work on web pages more than your regular every day site users. It is a good read for the non-technical as well as you’ll learn some technical terms but also easy ways to improve upon your website. We recently started adding sites that were having Flash of Unstyled Content or FOUC as it’s called in the web design world. We’ve seen it in the past and we are seeing it more as people that come on board with their existing sites have a ton of data and are not set to load properly. Both items will affect your website search engine optimization or SEO. We’re not going to cover that beyond the most basic of things.
If your entire marketing plan is paid marketing prepare to continually increase your paid marketing overtime. Paid marketing or pay-per-click is an effective way to reach new areas you weren’t previously in or areas where you want to further grow. Paid marketing though is not where you want your marketing efforts to be spent. You need to be looking at building up the content of your website for organic (e.g. free) marketing. Free marketing doesn’t mean it’s free though. It means you must do things the “old fashioned way” by working for it. You need to be updating your products, your services, and start a blog.
Despite a business's best intentions, sometimes you will end up with a client or employee who does not leave on a good note. A situation like this usually doesn't go beyond hurt feelings but in some cases, the level of angst may go beyond a few choice words and turn into a situation where one angry person can threaten your online business presence. Are there steps that can be taken in situations like this? Yes, there are. Let's discuss them.
All too often we see businesses making a big mistake when it comes to the search engines beyond ignoring them or just paying to play. They are still thinking the early 2000’s and the internet on how they worked before they could do a lot of 'self thinking'. The search engines have evolved, yet many businesses have not evolved with these changes. Google is a major force recon with when it comes to the search engines and they are not slowing down with their updates. With over 500 updates per year you need to continue to bring you’re 'A' game to make the search engines work for you. Paying for your search engine optimization or SEO is a short-term fix to a long-term problem.
Many of our clients, friends, and even local competitors we’ve been talking to over the past several weeks and they say we seem to be busy. We are and we know why and are going to tell you how we’re doing in one area. That area is search engine optimization and social media. It’s actually technology that gives us our edge. As software developers we think analytically to grow business. We have spent tens of thousands of dollars on tools to help our small business clients rock it. We get tools that work together that give us insights into what the internet is doing. With that information we can dig deeper than most and spot trends months before others start reacting.
We always see our clients that either we write blog posts for or write their own that they routinely perform better than sites that don’t do any blog posts. There is a secret formula we have used over the years that have allowed us to get all of our clients to the first page almost always. There never is a “magic bullet” that will guarantee you page one results but following best practices, industry trends, and avoiding bad techniques you stand a better chance of being on page one. So, let’s stop the talking and get to some actionable results with Google, Bing, and other search engines.