4 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Web Design Agency

Developing your website should be approached as a high-priority, ongoing objective for your team. You want your website not just to look good but also to function and perform in the best way possible. You want to offer a seamless, pleasant and meaningful experience for your target visitors and potential customers and all these rely on having good website design.

When you shop around for a team to handle your website design, don’t hesitate to collect information that will sufficiently help you gauge which ones are the right fit for you until you come down to your top selection. To do this, you can start by considering the following questions to ask before hiring a website design agency:

1. Can you tell me more about the team that will handle my website?

It’s important to know the background of the team to determine the years and quality of their experience, their qualifications and credentials, the type of projects they have previously worked on and the number of years they have worked together.

2. What are the systems, platforms and technology that you usually use?

Asking this question helps you gauge whether they are equipped and skilled enough to handle your specific requirements. If your workflow and tools are synced in some way, there is a bigger chance for your collaboration and working relationship to be more convenient and more efficient.

3. How will you price the project?

Having a clear understanding about the rates should always be a priority. Will they bill you for hourly work or will it be on a package rate basis? What are the terms of payment and are there particular fees or charges you should know about? Make sure to get everything written down for clarification and reference in the future.

4. How long will the work take?

The length of time spent on your project will depend on the specifications and features you request for. Some agencies have a set timeframe for every job, while others take a more customised approach. If you have a particular deadline to beat, be clear about it from the beginning to see if they can work with your requirement. Make sure you lay down all your requests before work takes place so the agency will be able to provide you a manageable, realistic timeline. Great artists like to say that you can only determine that a design is good when it succeeds in offering an answer to a problem.

When you get help from a Web design agency, you’re basically partnering with someone who can provide you the best solutions that suit the unique needs, requirements and preferences of your business. Be extra diligent in researching and looking for the right agency to work for. The choice of your agency will have a significant impact on the success of your website – and your business.

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Effective Business Development: Why You Should Invest in Developing Your Business Online

There is no stopping the phenomenal pull of the Web. Virtually everyone on the planet is probably on it, including you. On the Web, you can get your entertainment for free; you can find out valuable information for school, for work, and for just about anything in life; you can communicate with loved ones, meet new people, and reach out to long lost friends without leaving your home — the Web is one powerful tool, isn’t it?

So it only makes sense for you to use it to build and grow your business. If you have an idea, the World Wide Web will allow you to take that idea from the drawing board to reality, and from reality to success. But in addition to the fact that virtually everyone (consumers) is on the Web, why should you invest in online strategies for business development?

Your competitors will be doing the same.

Web marketing has increasingly become big business, primarily because companies and other entities are getting lucrative results, sometimes for a fraction of the cost it usually takes with traditional media. Consider the statistics:

  • Almost 50 percent of companies have some type of content marketing strategy.
  • Some $315 billion will be spent on new digital marketing collateral.
  • Social media marketing budgets will double in the next five years.
  • Internet advertising will eat up 25 percent of whole ad market in the next few years.

You can increase your market share by building your business online.

Whether you own a small local store or have an international business, you will get more customers through effective online marketing strategies. Here are the numbers to prove it:

  • Businesses that increase blogging from three to five times a month to six to eight times every month nearly double their leads.
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads than businesses that do not.
  • In the last year, 52 percent of marketers have found a customer through Facebook, 43 percent found theirs through LinkedIn.
  • The average return on email marketing investment is $44.25 for every dollar you spend.
  • Shoppers who get email marketing spend 83 percent more when they buy; they also order 44 percent larger, and order 28 percent more.

Your brand will get more recall through online marketing.

With so much information and so much imagery being presented to consumers, on any given day, you wonder how your brand will be able to “stick” to your consumers’ minds. With online marketing strategies, you get cost-effective opportunities to use multimedia to deliver your message — and your consumers will retain that information. Here’s why:

  • 65 percent of consumers are visual learners.
  • Visual information, versus text, is processed 60,000 times faster by your brain.
  • Consumers retain 58 percent of what see, only 10 percent of what they read.
  • Videos will keep your consumers on your website two minutes longer.
  • A consumer who watches a video about a product is 144 percent more likely to buy it than a consumer who doesn’t watch a video.

So the question should be, why not invest in developing your business online? Contact us today!

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Employing A Link Building Service: Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Link Builder

The rules are always changing — this is what you have to remember when it comes to marketing your business online. With constant algorithm updates and multiple species of animals that you need to recall (from Panda to Penguin to Hummingbird), it will be difficult to create effective Web marketing campaigns, particularly when you’re using link building as one of the strategies.

But to make sure you’re hiring the right kind of specialist, you need to ask them several key questions. These questions will determine their level of skill and training and their knowledge and grasp of the process. Here are some questions to start with; you can use these to build further questions relevant to your business and your goals.

  1. “How are algorithm changes going to affect link building strategies?”

Even though you already know, it pays to ask your link building specialist if they know more than you do. Otherwise, if you have more information, why outsource the process?

Asking about algorithm changes will also reveal whether the link builder is up to date on new rules or policies that could impact tactics applied for your campaign.

  1. “What sort of links work with search results?”

This question will also tell you the level of knowledge and link development techniques your link builder will have. This will also give you an idea of what the specialist can do to make your link building campaign a success. This is a good question to know if the link builder that you will be hiring will resort to blackhat, whitehat, or a bit of both.

  1. “Would you know what strategies or practices work best against my competitors?”

Your link builder should have done their homework before meeting with you. An awareness and understanding of your competitors and best practices will indicate knowledge that should give your business an edge.

  1. “What kind of report will I be getting once I do hire you?”

Reports tell you of the link building service’s progress. But while essential, they can also be exhausting to go through so you may find yourself leaving them unread. The worst reports may also confuse you, prompting you to make persistent queries with the link builder.

You may email or call to ask, “What does this graph mean?”, “I see an increase in links this month, but why am I not getting results with my traffic?”, and “Could you explain this spreadsheet of URLs?”

  1. “Will you be able to provide me with a monthly report on referral traffic from the links you’ve built and the links classified accordingly (from organic to paid)?”

The increase in links isn’t going to be much help if you have no idea where these links are coming from and what sort of value they hold for your goals and your business. So instead, ask your link builder to send reports you can use.

Anyone who has ever done link building knows exactly how tedious and tough it can be to accomplish. Between running your business and working on increasing clients, it only makes sense for you to hire a link building service instead of doing it on your own or having someone on your staff do it for the company. With a link building firm, you get expertise and commitment from the link builders.

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Social Media Marketing Tips For Start-Ups

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, you cannot afford to make do with just a mediocre marketing strategy. In every industry and every genre, numerous brands are vying for the attention of their target audience through the online platform. Therefore, it is crucial that your online presence is strong, solid, and sustainable to last for the long term, and it all depends on the power and influence of your marketing efforts.

But while using social media for marketing has made things a little bit easier and faster, note that it will still require a significant amount of your time and effort and the right strategy before you can see measurable results. Those wanting to make the most of online marketing possibilities should carefully consider these following social media marketing tips for start-ups:

Tip 1: Invest in high-value, made-just-for-you content.

Nothing can increase your visibility as well as enhance your credibility online more than publishing relevant content that provides information, triggers discussions within your community, and establishes you as an expert in the field.

Tip 2: Don’t blindly reach out.

More isn’t necessarily merrier in the case of marketing. To see results and ensure the return of your marketing investments, it’s best to zoom in and target a specific customer profile rather than using your limited resources to randomly reach out to everyone all the time. Identify your ideal customer, take time to know them better and deliver your message according to their convenience and preference to get positive response.

Tip 3: Use multimedia and cross-platform channels.

Make sure every blog post is accompanied by a high-quality image. Don’t underestimate the power of video to not just share information but most importantly to also create emotional connections. Produce infographics. Think up ways to make your social media activities go beyond online: Team up with offline shops and join events. Executed well, these can provide significant exposure for your business. Deliver your best content in the most attractive and dynamic forms.

Tip 4: Test, test, test.

Start-ups have to work with a limited pool of labour, budget and resources, so it’s important to make sure the money you spend will be worth it. You need to know that every effort you exert will work, and you need to measure the results to prove it. Test your campaigns to determine what works and to ensure you are always going for consistent, continuous improvement.

Social media marketing provided an avenue for businesses to connect with their customers in a more personal, more direct and therefore more meaningful manner than ever before. Through sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn, you can build connections, grow your community base, enhance brand awareness and establish your authority and credibility through content and conversations that will be valuable for your target audience.

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Recovering From Google Penguin Update 3.0

Google rolls out algorithm updates from time to time as their method of cleaning up the Web. They do it to weed out spam, malicious links and low-quality content from the Internet. Google webmasters say it’s important for them to regularly do these updates and refreshes to ensure repeat offenders are penalised and to watch out for newer forms of manipulative SEO tactics.

The most recent Google algorithm update was Penguin 3.0. It was the sixth Google Penguin update, and one thing to know about Penguin updates is that they act similar to an accounting and audit process: Every update and refresh aims to discount spammy links while making sure to count high-quality links, and factor all these in your search rankings.

Penguin 3.0 is technically a refresh rather than an update because it used the same system of measurement as the last update. Whether you were affected by the roll out or not, the following are some lessons to learn from this latest Penguin arrival.

Always keep an eye out for industry developments. An update or a refresh is usually a chance for you to recover from a previous penalty or notice. That’s why it’s necessary to always be in the know about updates so you can plan your next moves that will help you recover or improve your search engine results.

Never use manipulative tactics. The action steps you need to take when recovering from Google’s Penguin Update 3.0 is basically the same as the ones recommended for recovering from earlier Penguin penalties. You need to take a hard, long look under your website’s hood and check and eliminate all bad link profiles that might look suspicious to Google. You need to stop using optimisation tactics that Google frowns upon, including flooding the Internet with forum and comment spam and keyword stuffing and over-optimisation.

Work only with trusted experts. Sometimes, even the most well-intentioned companies wanting to use only good, ethical SEO may be committing optimisation mistakes without knowing it. It takes an experienced, highly skilled technical team to review and assess your website and apply the right strategies for you to win Google’s good side.

Consistently churn out high-quality content. It can be confusing to be always looking out for every move that Google makes. While it pays to be vigilant and in the know about algorithm changes and other technicalities, in the end there’s one action step that you can always count on, and that is to keep your website rich with high-quality, valuable and fresh content that your audience will appreciate and keep quality traffic coming to your website for the long term.

The primary goal of Google updates is to offer a more relevant, meaningful and pleasant search experience for all. If you got hit by the recent and the previous Penguins updates, maybe it’s about time to change how you optimise your website.

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How to Benefit From the Recent Google Updates!

Over the last few years through all of the search engine updates known collectively as the “Google Zoo” (Pandas, Penguins and so on) most webmasters knew it was just a matter of time before Google would start enforcing the things they were preaching about content. That day is here. With the recent revision of the Google Webmaster Guidelines they have made it very clear that they’re on a mission to terminate duplicate, thin, and otherwise poor content from their search results.

benefiting on google updates

So how does this affect small business?

In its basic form, this means that quality should win out over quantity, at least when it comes to content and links. Google is aware with so many millions of web pages in existence, it’s too much to expect us to not promote our pages, but concurrently we have to be adding to the discussion with new and fresh content, not merely a rehashing or exact duplication of what’s already there. So, for the small business owner attempting to make headway in the search rankings, this means that we should stop trying to game the search results, and embrace natural and meaningful link building and social interaction.

Best practices and what to avoid

  • Create awesome content – Craft content that people are eager to both read and share. Lend your unique voice to the conversation and don’t hesitate to ruffle feathers!
  • Make it shareable – Since Google is now making social signals an element of the search algorithm it’s very important to make sure that people have the capability and want to share your content. It can make a difference in your rankings.
  • Don’t use content automation – Google is getting better and better at finding and exiling automated content. Since most of the time this sort of spun or rehashed text is easily recognizable as such, just determine to avoid it completely.
  • Make your links diverse – Don’t use the exact same keyword text in all of your links. It’s not natural and won’t help you rank for that keyword. Make use of keywords, naked URLs, some “click here’s” as well as other common terms.
  • Don’t employ linking schemes – In the past you could get away with this, and there are many who will tell that it is still so, even so the cost of being identified is high. Do you actually want to build your business on that?

Want these best practices for your business?

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