You have a website that has been up and running for a number of years. In actual fact many organizations have had 2-3 generations of websites now a days. It looked great when the website was launched (they always do) but over the years it has become less and less of a focal point in your companies marketing plans. You don’t really know how much traffic is coming to the website (as the reports you used to get stopped coming) and the big part that bothers you is that you don’t seem to get any inquiries from your website any more…
Web Design & Development
I am just flying back from the 2016 Joomla World Conference (flying from Vancouver to LA and then onto Melbourne Australia) so I figured with 16 hours of flying ahead this would be the perfect time to recap the conference I just attended and share with our clients and friends. It was the best conference I have attended to date with the leadership of Joomla being so much more focused on the end user experience than I have ever seen before. This is very good for our clients (and their web visitors) as the bottom line to any websites success is a great user experience.
So I went to this great coffee house a few weekends ago in Franklin. Set in a historic house It had a gorgeous cottage garden area that surrounded the house that seemed as suitable for a glass of wine as a cup of coffee. When I walked by I could feel it pulling me in. The inside of the house was old but nicely laid out with lots of different and colorful rooms as one would expect in a house built in the 1890’s. The very nice and modern coffee bar was located near the center of the house and I ordered my favorite – a Cappuccino Grande and then found an amazing place to write my weekly blog – next to the grand piano on a small single table. I turned on my favorite music thru my head set ear phones and as I sipped on my delicious cappuccino and began to blog I thought to myself “Could it get any better than this – I LOVE THIS PLACE”…
So you are surfing the internet on a bright sunny day. The kids are playing in the back yard with Bucky the Golden Retriever and your wife is in the kitchen baking cookies. All is good with the world – if Norman Rockwell was around this could have been his next American Classic – “Dad On The Internet”…
About a year ago “or so” I said to an associate I think I need to really focus on cleaning up the front of my residence as Google was using the front of our house as the street view that you would see when you searched for Bear Web Design. (We have since relocated to an Office on Lebanon Pike but the challenge remains with how we look from the street). Google uses street view (called “See Outside”) to show the front street view of each business as part of the Google My Business / Google Maps listing. It seemed pretty obvious to me - if the view looks old or run down you may just be losing prospects. I must admit I was excited at the idea of the concept “Google Friendly Landscaping” being someone who loves gardening but also realized how many businesses may look “HORRIBLE” from the street view. And even worse – Google can quite often show the wrong building or ajoining structure in street view and totally put off the searcher…
If you are reading this blog you must recognize that Google “Rules The Waves” just like Britannia did once. Unlike when Britannia ruled the waves and everyone got it so many folks simply do not understand or comprehend the control and influence Google has over your business and many of your prospects. Google is all powerful and frankly all confusing. We (Bear Web Design) made a commitment to be Google Centric Company approximately 5 years ago and it has been a good decision for our business and our customers – but man if you don’t like people “Moving Your Cheese” Google probably is not going to be your thing.
As we celebrate Labor Day Weekend (currently on sabbatical camping at Cedars Of Lebanon!) my thoughts as I sit around the camp fire is one of relaxation, refreshment and rejuvenation after a long hot summer but as my mind wanders off into the sounds of crickets and the coolness of the evening I naturally think about work and the upcoming fall. OK – probably not what you should be thinking about on a camping trip but sometimes your best clarity can come in the most peaceful moments. Not sure why but I feel inspired so time to share!
This week Google is introduced a fully redesigned Google+ that puts Communities and Collections front and center. Now focused around interests, the new Google+ is much simpler (which should encourage more and more businsess to start using Google+).
And it’s more mobile-friendly with Google claiming they have rebuilt it across web, Android and iOS so that you’ll have a fast and consistent experience whether you are on a big screen or small one. You’ll need to opt-in to this new version of Google+ on the web to see the changes.
If you have a Google+ page then next time you go to it you will see a pop up box that sais "Meet The New Google" - Simply select "Lets Go" and your Google+ Page is updated. Occassionally I have seen an error with this process (so you just do it again) - but there is nothing to do at your end besides selecting "Lets Go"...
And you can see the new look here on our page - https://plus.google.com/+BearWebDesignNashville - larger cover picture with communities and collections becoming more prominent. Of course Google+ is tied to your Google My Business Page and it is critical for every business to claim this page, have it upto date and well branded) as Google is placing these pages very high in search results (quite often above organic results which has been so heavily pursuid thru SEO & Internet Marketing).
Be sure to contact Bear Web Design today if you need help with you Google+ Page (Google My Business)...
While sitting in line last month to get my annual auto emission test I was searching on my mobile when I noticed a tag in results “Mobile-Friendly”. I had never seen it before and recognized immediately what it meant – “Google is telling mobile users what sites are going to be a good experience to visit on your mobile”. Google's Search Engine's aim is to lead you to the best search results but it is now drawing a line in the sand and basically saying if your website is not mobile friendly (no matter how much wonderful content you have on that site) – it is not going to get the all important “Mobile-Friendly” tag. This tag in my opinion will help users decide whether they actually visit your website. And long term I suspect google may even consider listing Mobile-Friendly results first.
This year website content and content marketing are at the forefront of any results focused website. So what is great content? Is it frequency? (how many times you update your website), is it fancy fonts and highlights with every page designed uniquely? Or, is it content copied from a leading competitors website that you know must be good cause they are a great company!
In essence there are three basic forms of content on a website.
Our company has traditionally worked closely with our client base to ensure that they fully utilize their content management system (Joomla) in order to maximize their website results and their visitors experience on the website. We have done this primarily by teaching classes (both formal classes and onsite training) as well as providing a “how to” support role to ensure that the client not only has a great looking and functioning website but the content is easily updated with fresh, up to date and relevant information. This is not only great for website visitors and but also great for Google. Your content on your website determines your search engine and keyword positioning and this determines how many prospects you are reaching (Google is all about the prospect!).
If you don’t have a Google+ Local Page (or more to the point if you haven’t claimed and verified your Google+ Local Page) the move by Google to launch Vanity URL’s should really make you consider investing some resources into a Google+ Page for your business some time very soon.
If you are like me, in the last 24 months or so you most likely have started using your mobile phone more and more for browsing the Internet. Larger mobile screens, voice recognition software, and better wi-fi access are just a few of the advances that have made this possible.
Over the last few months, CedarStone Bank has been working on a new responsive designed website. A responsive website is a website that is mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop friendly and provides an optimum user experience based on the device with which the website is being used.
Over the last few months, Bear Web Design has been working on a new responsive designed website to launch for the 2013 Wilson County Fair. A responsive website is a website that is mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop friendly and provides an optimum user experience based on the device with which the website is being used.
Recently I had a prospect ask me to focus (almost exclusively) on improving their Google Search Engine positioning based on key words. The belief of the prospect was that you can manipulate results on Google easily and quickly and that regardless of your website (and its design) this methodology (known as Search Engine Optimization) could be implemented very easily.
This week I presented Google+ to a lunch and learn session for the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce. Google+ (pronounced and sometimes written as Google Plus or G+) is Google’s social media network. I spent quite a bit of time preparing for the presentation as I have only been using Google + for the last 3 months or so and I was curious about what level of interest there was going to be. Based on the lively group with many questions, comments, and feedback from my presentation, it is apparent that people are definitely starting to focus on Google’s social media network.
What is Responsive Website Design?
2013 has been declared the year of Responsive Design in many web circles. If you haven’t heard of Responsive Design yet, you will soon. The reason it was created (and is snowballing in popularity) is because of the need to optimize websites on different devices -- mobile, tablet, laptop & desktop -- with the growth of the mobile and tablet markets being the driving force for Responsive Design.
With the improved usability of websites over the last 24-36 months (Content Management Systems in particular) and the integration of Social Media with websites, it has become apparent that education is becoming a key to having a successful website.