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Mobile Revolution ~ Is Your Business Ready?

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Mobile Revolution is here, is your business ready?

We keep hearing about the mobile revolution, what exactly does that mean, and more importantly what does it mean to your business?  The mobile revolution is simply that; a revolution in the way we are interacting, shopping, searching, living and growing.  This is not something that may or may not happen, it is happening and it is happening fast!  We are a fast moving, ever changing society and our mobile devices have helped us get there and continue to propel us into the future.  With 56% of US Adults* owning a smart phone spending an average of 127 minutes* using social applications, searching and browsing websites, the question is why?  Well, think about it, we cram so much into our days, work, kids, social life, being a weekend warrior, throwing “Pinterest Worthy” parties, church, work events; the list goes on and on.  We are on the go constantly and we need the world to keep up with us!

How How Mobile Affected Certain Industries?

Just think about the revolution in the restaurant industry, people got tired of waiting in line to be seated, The time spent waiting was wasted and we didn’t want to waste time.  Call ahead seating was invented; this allowed you to call ahead and put your name in line and then do something else and arrive just in time to be seated.  Then they came out with text ahead seating where you can text and ask the wait and put your name in.  The next revolution was online reservations, which allowed you to go online and make a reservation or put your name down for seating.  Now, we are never at home just sitting in front of our computers, we are on the go so we needed to be able to do everything we can do from our desktop without being tied to a desk.  Here is where they have dropped the ball.  The way your website looks on a mobile device is not mobile friendly.  Making a reservation on a mobile device is not easy.  Restaurants are making it hard for me to do business with them.

Now Look at Your Business

Is your website and non-mobile compatible website making it hard to do business with you?  Quit making me move my fingers on the screen like an ice skater doing the splits.  Quit making me have to scroll all the way to the side just to get your address or phone number.  Quit making me have to write your phone number down, then close my browser and then call you, a tap to call would be great!  By having a mobile compatible website you are not just allowing your customers to do business with you the way they want, you are getting additional leads from very qualified buyers. Need some proof?

Check out these statistics:

  • ·        4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop and make decisions based on the research. 
  • ·        57% of consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. 
  • ·        Similarly, 40% of consumers will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience. 
  • ·        Mobile search accounts for 46% of search, so people are searching for you.  Can you be found? 

You might be thinking, well I had my site build and it is mobile responsive so it changes to a smaller screen.  Many WordPress sites offer this; here is why Google says that isn’t a good thing. It doesn’t always create a good end-user experience and we all know that if your bounce rate is high and if you don’t create a good end user experience that can affect your rankings with the search mogul.   There are a few problems with a responsive site, the first being that sometime the call to action isn’t where you need it to be because of where the responsive site placed it.  You should also consider how and what people look for on mobile vs. your desktop site.  They want the information, but not your whole 107 page website!  (By the way 107 pages is a lot and you probably have great content, keep it up)  A mobile redirected website, not responsive design, offers more customization and will have its own search keywords and meta tags.   Again, the search giant LOVES this.

The Take Away

You have the facts and the reasons why a mobile optimized site is a must for your business in the mobile revolution, now the question lies with you ~ will you do something to talk to your customers or let your competitor work some mobile magic and steal them away?  For more information or a free consultation to see if your website is mobile compatible call us and join the revolution.

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SEO strategy, 3 Things you must have

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1. Content!  This seems like a no-brainer, but your content must be fresh and updated.  If your business is still the same from 1 year ago, then check your content, it is the same?  If yes, then change it, now!  Remember finding and writing great content is as easy as surfing the web and looking at your competitors, find something they do that you do better and write about it!   Boom, content, done.

2.Links!  Incoming, outgoing, no matter what it must be credible.  If you are going to link to another site, be sure the link is what your consumer thinks it is.  While you are writing all this great content you can link out to your resources where you get your inspiration for new products, menu items, ideas, etc.

3.Social!  You have to be social, no one can figure out Google’s algorithm exactly, but we do know one thing, it includes social.  What and who you are connecting with on a social level will have a lot to do with how the search engines view you.  Search engines don’t want to lose searches and if they don’t provide the right information to the person searching they will lose those eyeballs.

SEO Strategy doesn’t have to be hard, companies who want you to pay them money to do it make it seem hard.  Just by using the 3 listed tools, you can make your SEO perform better.  Continue to follow our blog and share the tips you learned here to get more out of your business.  Get out of the box and get some awesome!

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3 Ways for Businesses to use Hashtags

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facebook hashtag


1. Discover the hashtags that will drive traffic to your page.  For example an auto dealer should tag post with #buyacar or #usedchevys

2. With the implementation of graph search and hashtags geolocation is everything!  Hashtag with your location!  #GJCO #Denver

3.  Don’t go crazy with the hastags.  Be strategic and think of how people will search for you.  What do people search for on FB?  What words do they use that pertain to your industry?  #Your #update #shouldn’t #look #like #this.

And of course if this all seems overwhelming!  Feel free to give us a call ~ We love this stuff!

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Party of one?

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You have a lot to do as a business owner, you wear many hats!  Sales, paying bills, answering phones, hiring, firing, and the list goes on and on.  Sometimes you feel like a party of one, but it’s no party being you right?  Getting help isn’t always easy to ask for.  You think I can do it all myself or I need to save money; I have to look at my bottom line.  While those things should be considered you should also consider that you are only one person.  No one person can do it all; everyone has to ask for help at some point.

Help comes at a price though, what is help worth to you?  What is your time valued at? Who exactly is affected when you don’t ask for help and try to do it all yourself?

First off you are affected~   Get help doing the things you aren’t good at or don’t want to do.  Trying to keep it all to yourself is a strategy for getting burned out quickly.  So you have a great big fat bank account and no time to utilize it because you are so busy working to try and do it all.  How can you be happy and be doing the best possible job when you are trying to do it all yourself just to save a buck?  There is something to be said for having a team of people around you that believe in you and your dreams.  When you get “burned out” and aren’t happy your work is affected and ultimately the customer experience is affected.

That leads me to how the customers are affected.  When you can’t ask for help and try to do it all they aren’t getting 100% of what you are great at.  They are getting 100% of what you have time for, even if that isn’t what you are great at.  What kind of experience does that leave the customer with?  The ball gets dropped, things get missed and the customer pays the ultimate price with a product that isn’t the best possible product or service you can provide.  So while you are thinking about the dollar signs in your eyes by trying to “save a buck to your bottom line” Think about the effect on the customer?  What do you think they are going to tell people about their experience with you?  That they got what you had time for, things were missed and they felt like they only got about 70% of what you are supposed to be great at?  Or will they say, the team really understood the details and paid close attention to my needs.  Will they tell people my deadline was met with plenty of time and I feel like I got a great value for the money I spend with them?

While it is very enticing to save on your bottom line and think that you can do it all yourself remember this ~ “The jack of all trades is the master of nothing” Do you want to be a jack of all trades or a master of something? Mastering something ensures a pay increase while doing it all ensures nothing but burn out and unhappy customers.  So swallow your pride, set greed aside and ask for help!

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Is Radio Effective?

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We often get asked our opinion on media in general but every once in a while people ask us what we think of a particular media.  Radio has been a big one lately.  We have gotten questions like “is radio effective? Should I do radio or TV?  What is the most effective way to utilize radio?”  I am sure as a business owner you have asked yourself those questions several times.
Using a multi-channel approach is always the best way to go.  That multi-channel could be a social channel and electronic media (TV, Radio) or an online strategy and print strategy together.  No matter what 2 or 3 you elected to use make sure they work together and complement each other.  More important than what you choose is what you say.  You can pay all the money in the world for a great schedule on every station out there, but if you aren’t relevant or interesting then it doesn’t matter what you are saying to whom.  

Your short answer to the above question “Is radio effective?” is yes it is!  Radio is still a very effective form of media.  Think about it, music is the thread of life that binds everyone together.  People like listening to music, what they don’t like hearing is your cheesy radio ad.  No one cares how long you have “been in business”, no one cares that you “have the best customer service” or “lowest prices” they care about their experience with you.  Are they going to be happy and have a positive experience with you and your brand?  Are they going to feel like they got a good value?  If you are pretty confident in those things they get the word out!  Blast it!  Tell people what they want to hear, not figuratively, but literally.  People want to hear why they should spend their hard earned dollars with you and not your competition.  So tell them the real reasons that matter to the consumer. Tell me that you are going to listen to me and understand my problem and treat it as though it is your own.  Tell me that you know I work hard for my dollar and you are going to make sure I get a great value.

Now here is where the multi-channel marketing can come in handy!  Tell me about my experience I can expect and then prove it to me on social media.  Tell me to go to your Facebook page and view others experiences with your business.  Then make sure you have your customers actively participate in leaving great reviews about your business after you deliver on your promise.  Now you have talked to me on the radio and you have connected with me on a social platform.  You have 2 touch points to make an impression on me.  If you have an effective message then a radio schedule makes sense.  So the question isn’t “Is radio effective?” it is “Is my message worth hearing?”  No matter how they hear it, if it is not worth listening to it is ineffective.

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What are you telling me?

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10 Years ago having a website was only for the “big” companies.  Today it is a non-negotiable in this market.  If you can’t be found online, you won’t be in business long.  If you are like most businesses, you realized this and have a website, but what are you really telling the customer?  Does your website look like a digital brochure or an online storefront?  Is it just a blog that you are trying to make a functional website or is it a true representation of who you are and the experience the customer can expect?  I have seen some amazing businesses that have a website I wouldn’t even bother putting on my business card.  The same thing can be said for the other way around, I have seen a mind blowing website that when I showed up to the business I didn’t get the service or product I was “promised” from the way the website looked.

The aesthetics of your website and the way it functions are two different things and you can’t confuse them.  You should know what your customer enjoys looking at and you should also know what they want to do on your site.  If your customers are sold by the visual of your product then you should have a lot of pictures.  If they are sold by product demonstration then you should have video demonstrating your product.  If they are sold on a service and your accolades or recommendations are what encourage them to do business with you then you should have plenty of testimonials.  

As far as the functionality of your website, what do you want customers to do when they are on there, or rather, what do customers want to use your website for.  Is it just informative, do they need to be able to shop and purchase online?  What about the ability to interact with others or yourself?  The habits your target customer has in your industry are going to be very insightful and helpful to make sure the online expectation is met.  Having a website is no longer enough, you have to be what I need when I need it and tell me what I want to hear.

Mobile is a whole other story!  The talk of mobile websites is on everyone’s lips right now, but do you really understand what the purpose of having one is?  When you are thinking about investing in a mobile website, do you understand how people will use it?  If you think they are going to spend hours looking into your pages and the content on a smart phone you are wrong.  Your mobile site can actually have different content on it and different search capabilities.  Make sure that you spend time with a web development company that understands your target consumer and how they will use your site, how it needs to look and how they will use it in a mobile capacity.

I think that most people understand they need to be saying something online, so they get a website.  Check!  Then they know they have to show up in search so they spend some money on that.  Check!  The next action isn’t really thought about as far as what will happen when someone actually makes it to my site?  Think about it and make sure you like what you are telling them.

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Take a good hard look; do you like what you see?

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This is often really hard for business owners to do.  There are several reasons why, the first being time.  How many owners take time out of their business to work on their business?  It is really hard to see things for what they are when you are in the thick of it every day.  You often only have a few minutes to put out whatever fire is burning the biggest at the moment and often times don’t take time to look back and learn from mistakes or much less, plan for success.  One of my favorite sayings is “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance” not quite sure who said it, but I agree with it so we will go with it.  The second reason I believe that business owners don’t really take a good hard look at their business is they are afraid of what they will see.  My husband co-owner and I are guilty of both of these things.  By not taking the time and being afraid of what we would see, our business quickly got out of hand, and not in a good way.

We were spending so much time on clients that didn’t appreciate everything we did for them and we weren’t making any money doing it.  We weren’t doing what we really loved any more, just doing what the clients asked because we felt like we couldn’t tell them “no”.  We also didn’t take time to really evaluate our business and the direction it was going to see if that was the right way to go.  We were just trying to keep up.  We found that when our passion for what we love got lost so did the quality of our work and our passion for our clients.  Sometimes it takes something else in your life to make you re-evaluate everything.  Ours was the birth of our son,

Carter on January 17th of this year.  He is nothing short of amazing and he really made us think, we don’t want to miss even one minute of this awesome thing we created and we have a workload from hell right now, so what do we do?  We started looking at every aspect of our business with a microscope.  Expenses, overhead, packages, partners, clients, you name it and we looked at it.   It was frightening!!
We found that we didn’t spend enough time doing what we preach which was take time out of your business to work on your business, so we made a commitment to practice what we preach.  (I have a feeling that will come in handy with this whole parenting thing)   We also found that we didn’t love what we were doing so we changed what we did.  We may lose some clients but we are now attracting the right kind of clients.  We looked at our products that we offered and if they weren’t fun and innovative, we removed it.  We also thought of some new and innovative ideas for our clients because they are with us because of our innovation and creativity so we better be innovative and creative dangit!  After taking the time and committing to a new process we have found a new passion and love for our business that hasn’t been there in a long time.  This passion has re-ignited things we let fall by the wayside and things that needed to change drastically.

So my question is this~ when was the last time you took a long hard look at your business?  Do you like what you see?  If not what is your plan to change it?  Don’t make decisions for your business based out of fear that only leads to misery.  Make the decision based on the passion you once had and the entrepreneurial spirit you have inside.  It is still there; you just have to take the time and not be afraid to look for it again.  When you find it don’t let it go ever again!

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New Facebook layout

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Everyone is talking about the new Facebook layout and how it is going to affect small business.  We get a lot of questions about it, so we thought we would address some of them.   First of all the layout is going to be more user friendly. It is going to look the same on your iPad and your iPhone and your mobile devices on your desktop. It is also going to allow you the ability to decide what’s in your news feed. Do you want pictures? Do you want to look at videos, or do you just want status updates? You are going to want to utilize a fair amount of each one of those things photos, videos, and status updates in order to reach the broadest audience that you can.

The other things that you can do is make sure that you are utilizing your Facebook analytics and actually looking at what your users are engaging in.  Are they looking at pictures or just reading status updates?   What gets the most on action on your page?   Once you establish what your users are engaging with it’s a lot easier to plan out your post and decide; do you want to post a picture today or do you want to post a video?   They continue to say that “content is king”, and while I believe that it is true the content that you post is very important; I believe you must be prepared to interact with whatever content you post. For example, if you like to post pictures does that usually generate a comment or “like”? Most of the time generates a “like “however, if you post a status update usually that will generate a comment.  Are you prepared to comment back and get into a conversation with the people that are utilizing your page?   While content is important your plan to interact with the content after the fact is even more important?   The new Facebook layout will make this even more necessary for small business to have a handle on it and have a strategy in place.  

Another thing that is important to realize with the new Facebook feed and that your visual content is even more important. What I mean by visual contact is your photos and your videos are going to be larger and more vibrant allowing users to have more interaction with them.  So as a small business you should make sure that you are you correctly using photos and that the photos are speaking something about your business. You should also be utilizing video, we’ve been saying this for years with the popularity of YouTube however few businesses have really understood what it means to utilize video.   You truly do have to have a multi-media strategy.  With the new layout and the realization that the consumer is in control, there is only once piece of advice you need.  Get it right or get out of the game.

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The Blizzard

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This title is actually has a two fold meaning. First, I am 9 ½ months pregnant so I was craving an Oreo Blizzard, which lead into a conversation with my husband about some trends we have seen from some potential clients lately. That is the blizzard of marketing that they think they just have to be involved in. After my blizzard craving was satisfied I decided to sit down and write this blog. We have seen a huge trend in clients thinking they have to do it all in order to be effective in today’s market place. Small business today is getting slammed with everything from; phone books, TV stations, and social media trends and they feel pressure to do everything because everything sounds so great. Eventually they sign up for so much stuff and have so much going on they are in a marketing blizzard. A blizzard in the common term is often related to limited visibility and heavy snowfall. You can find yourself in a blizzard of marketing because of your limited visibility of the big picture of what you are doing and eventually when all is said and done, you are covered up by a bunch of “stuff”. You are left to shovel your way out of a mess after you can see clearly. Avoid this feeling of being left with a mess by doing a few simple things. First, you don’t have to sign on for every new shiny object that hits the market. Next, watch trends for a while to see the success of them and how some businesses are adopting them. Pay-Per-Click is a great example, lots of people jumped on the band wagon and still do, but in some industries, it just doesn’t make sense. A good SEO campaign, combined with a great branding campaign is a better option. Finally, arm yourself with the right tools to ask the right questions when these “new trends” come along and of course don’t do anything you can’t track. As for an actual blizzard, you can do one of two things. 1. Hunker down and wait for it to pass or 2. Go get your pregnant wife a blizzard.

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Tracking Your Advertising Dollars.

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Tracking Your Advertising Dollars.

Every business knows that they need to have a multi-channel approach to marketing their business.  Be it a multi digital approach including texting, website, and social or a multi-channel approach with TV, Radio, Social and Website.  Every business out there is using multiple forms of advertising.  Some call it a media mix, others call it a multi-channel approach, and we call it a hybrid media strategy.  While this approach is necessary and quite honestly crucial, it can cause some headaches when tracking your marketing dollars.  Just like having a strategy, and multi-channel approach you must have the ability to track.
In order to track you have to understand how your buyers shop.  You may think you know how they shop, but have you ever really asked them?  I will give you an example of a local car dealer that I have worked with.  They got a ton of web traffic, we tracked it and where it was coming from, what pages they viewed, and what the conversion rate was, it was all very very good.  They were very happy with the amount of web traffic and they finally understood that when KBB.com says that 83% of the traffic on your lot has been on your website, they believed it!  Great web traffic and sales were up, life was good, and then the general manager says; let’s cut our entire advertising, wait what?  The logic, like many of you would be- our website is providing great traffic and sales are up so we don’t need all that other “stuff”  Having the ability to track where people were coming from was very important at this stage.  The number one traffic driver was direct traffic, then Google search, then Facebook.  So I asked the dealer for a favor, have the sales people when they are sourcing a customer, if the customer says “I was on your website” like most of them do, respond by asking “how did you hear about our website?”
You see people don’t just wake up one morning and say I need to visit www.yourwebsite.com or your Facebook page, they heard of it somewhere, somehow from someone or something.  THAT is your true advertising source.  The sales people agreed to do this and we soon uncovered that the Radio and TV advertising were helping to drive the traffic to the website.  You see, we didn’t advertise the best deal of the week in their commercials, we advertised the website and the Facebook page.  So when the time came to purchase a vehicle that website was the first on they thought of, which is also proven by the reporting showing that direct traffic was the #1 source of traffic.  For all the direct traffic to your website or for all the times your business is searched on Google by name you have to ask yourself, how did they hear my name?  How do they know about my brand? How did they know to go to my website? That is how you can track your multi-channel approach and know if it is working or not.
With the amount of advertising thrown our way every day, it takes more than the standard 3 times to hear a message, so the hybrid media strategy is a must simply because of the buying funnel and the amount of devices we all use.  So the next time someone says I found out about you on the web or sends in a lead from your website, ask them, “How did you hear about my website?”  They buying funnel is more than 2 steps so your tracking should be more than 1 question. Ask and ye shall receive, prosper and make good advertising decisions.

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