Noctem Blog

Should you hire a web professional?

No comments

Running a business is a daunting task at times. There are many facets of your business that you have to focus on. One of the most important aspects of a business in 2019 is web presence. Every business should have a website and a decent social media marketing campaign to engage current and potential customers. So you’re wondering, should I hire a web professional?

The answer is yes.

Working with a web designer takes a lot of stress off of you and your business. Web design is a craft and one that takes a lot of attention to detail. Anyone can throw a website up on the internet but not everyone can create one that actually generates results. This is where working with a web professional comes in. You need someone who has an extensive knowledge of search engines, content creation, social media marketing, and what grabs the attention of users on a website.

You’re probably wondering, can’t I just make a Wix or SquareSpace website? But the answer is..

DIY website platforms won’t get you results.

The introduction of platforms like Wix and SquareSpace make it easy for you to throw a website up on the internet but these oftentimes have no SEO benefits. I can’t tell you how many Wix websites I have come across that aren’t even mobile responsive. Another problem with these DIY site builders is the fact that you have to host your website with them. You aren’t able to optimize your server for speed and SEO so you’re stuck with their speeds. This can negatively impact the user experience on your website. You need to work with someone who can build your website professionally and implement the marketing tactics and web knowledge that is going to drive clientele to your doorstep.

Your website is alive. You need to treat it that way.

Think of a website as a living body on the internet. It requires maintenance, care, and fixes at times. If your website was written in custom HTML and CSS, you have to make sure that code doesn’t break as browsers update and code evolves. If your website was built in WordPress or any other content management system, you have to be sure it stays up to date, backed up, and monitored to be sure that there are no security threats. It’s very common for businesses to just throw a website up online and totally forget about it only to find that the website looks broken due to out of date plugins or themes or the website has simply been hacked. This is why you want to hire a web professional, especially one that specializes in webmaster services like maintenance, updates, backups, security monitoring, performance monitoring and more.

Here’s the bottom line..

Your web presence is extremely important in 2019. Every year, more and more people turn to the internet for information on businesses and services in their area. You want to be sure that when someone is looking for someone to do business with, you end up in front of their eyes. This is why you want to hire a web professional. You don’t want to spend money on a website that has no return on your investment and you definitely don’t want to waste your valuable time on a DIY project that goes nowhere.

If you’re looking to hire a web professional, Noctem Media has you covered. Get a free web consultation from us today and lets get started on your web presence today!

KyleWeekShould you hire a web professional?
read more

How can I grow my business? The answer is simple.

No comments

“How can I grow my business?” It’s a question that every entrepreneur asks themselves quite often. Starting a new business is a daunting task filled with uncertainties and a million questions. One thing is clear and that is the importance of a resourceful and performance based web presence. There are plenty of businesses that are doing great but wonder how they could do better or take their brand to the next level. Below are some tips on how you can build your business through the power of the internet and some online marketing.

Get active on social media.

The general population is obsessed with social media. Everyone is looking for a way to connect with friends, family, celebrities, and local businesses. People spend hours on their phones scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other platforms. This is a golden opportunity for your business to jump on to the timelines of people in your area and connect with potential customers. Share images and videos of your business that catches the attention of your visitors. If you own a restaurant, photograph your delicious food and share it with the world. If you’re an insurance agency, take a photo of your employees at the Christmas party having a great time and show everyone how happy your team is. Find ways to connect with people and get them to relate to your brand. Think “how can I grow my business?” every time you post.

Hire a graphic designer and a photographer who can depict your brand’s identity and create content that potential customers want to engage with. Being active on social media is a great way to humanize your brand. People are far more likely to do business with a company they can connect with and relate to. Social media is a powerful tool that can help you accomplish this.

Build a resourceful website

A website is your brand’s home on the internet. Your website should help users better understand who you are and how you can help them. A website allows you to control the narrative about your business, provide information 24/7, and give consumers more confidence in your brand. Above all, keep your website simple and resourceful. Give your potential customers the information they came for. Don’t overload them with options and long paragraphs that will confuse them. When a visitor lands on your website, they should understand your brand and get the information they came for quickly.

By now it’s clear that if you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on opportunities for customers to identify who you are and if they want to spend money with you.

Nicole Leinback-Reyhle (Forbes)

Hire a designer who will ask “how can I grow my business?” when thinking about your business. Your designer should be passionate about your success and work hard to make it happen. On your website, include photos, a company bio, ways you can help, and contact information. Check out our article on creating a resourceful website for your customers. To sum up, grab the attention of your visitor and show them why they should do business with you over your competition.

Take advantage of online advertising

Once you have built a beautiful website and social media that users can engage with, it’s time to get active with advertising. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are two of the biggest advertising platforms. Google AdWords allows you to promote your brand and your posts on Google, the biggest search platform in the world. If you’re an electrician and someone is looking for and electrician in your area, you can pay for your business to show up first. This is extremely beneficial for driving traffic to your website and your business doors. Facebook advertising is a great way to build your social media following. You can spend any amount you’d like and get results. Create engaging posts and promote them to a targeted audience and watch your business grow.

Online advertising is a process of trial and error and you will have to try many different approaches and keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Just because you spend money doesn’t mean that you will always get the results you want. You will need to pay attention to the ads and posts that perform best and invest in those. This is a great opportunity to put your business out there for the world to see and every business should be investing in this.

Hire the right professionals for the job

Starting a new business means you are in charge of many different job roles. You’re the owner but you’re also the marketer, the social media manager, the web developer, the photographer, the customer service specialist, the list goes on and on. You have a lot on your plate and it’s okay to relieve yourself and pass some of this work on to other professionals. If you’re looking for a website that really works for your business, find a designer who has the experience and let them take the reigns. If you need beautiful photos of your business but only own a smartphone, hire a photographer to get in there and capture all the right angles with pristine quality. It’s okay to have strengths and outsource the weaknesses. Every great business person does this. When starting a business, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.

In conclustion, when you’re asking yourself “how can I grow my business?”, use these tips to get started with your online marketing initiatives. Noctem Media specializes in all of the aspects covered in this article. We are the designers, marketers, photographers, and marketing strategists down the street. We can help you build your business online while you focus on daily operations. If you’re interested in working with us, you can get a free quote quickly by filling out a consultation form. Noctem Media would be happy to work with you in building your business.

KyleWeekHow can I grow my business? The answer is simple.
read more

Local SEO tips: 5 ways to make your website a valuable resource.

No comments

If you’re a brick and mortar business or even an online business that serves customers in your local area, local SEO is extremely important. Your web designer should be familiar with local SEO practices. These local SEO tips will help you and your designer create a valuable tool for your business.

1. List your business on every reputable listing service you can find.

One of the most important local SEO tips I can give you is this. When a potential client is looking for a service provider, a restaurant, or any business for that matter, they turn to services like Google, Yelp, Zomato, Manta, or AngiesList. It is extremely important that your business takes advantage of these free listing services to ensure you are visible to more potential customers. The most important of all is Google My Business. Yes, all these other websites are important but Google is king these days and optimizing your Google listing will go a long way for your local SEO efforts.

Google My Business allows you to provide all the information a potential client needs to find you or work with you. Once you “claim” your business listing, you can edit the phone number, add your website, add business hours, add the services you provide, and much more. Google gives you the power to fully inform someone quickly about your business and how you can help them. The other listing services work in a similar fashion but Google My Business is the most important and most intuitive of all these websites.

2. Pay attention to customer reviews and take them seriously.

Even if you don’t claim your listings, customers can still leave reviews about your business. The downside to this is, you can’t respond to them and handle them in a professional manner. As a business owner, you should watch your reviews and respond to them whether they are positive or negative. If you receive a positive review, thank your customer for their business and invite them to come back or use your service again. If you receive a negative review, apologize for the inconvenience, listen closely to what your customer said, and respond in a professional manner. Make the customer feel like you’re going to do everything in your power to make them happy. This practice could turn an unhappy customer in to a returning customer if executed properly. This isn’t just a part of our local SEO tips, this is a basic customer service rule.

Maintaining good customer service on Google, Yelp, and other platforms has a direct effect on your search engine rankings. Google keeps track of your reviews and will boost your business up in ranks if you have good reviews. After all, Google is in the business of satisfying their customers, too. On the other side of this, it has been reported that 93% of people claim that customer reviews impact their purchasing decisions. (SOURCE) Keep your reviews positive, and more people will be inclined to do business with you.

3. Create SEO optimized content for your customers

Creating a blog for your company is a surefire way to boost local SEO. Search engines and customers eat up quality content. Talk to your web designer or someone in charge of marketing to set up a content strategy for your website. It used to be that you would fill your content with high level keywords but this isn’t the case anymore. Your content should be useful and resourceful to your customers. Putting keywords in your content does matter but not as much as it used to several years ago. If you run a restaurant, maybe some content about where your food comes from or how to decide on what dish to order would be useful. If you sprinkle in some keywords, create quality content, and help your site visitors, you’re on your way to SEO success.

4. Build a strong social media presence.

Creating a strong social media presence is imperative to building local SEO. Make sure your business is active on any social network that would benefit you. Facebook and LinkedIn are the basics but get active on Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and any other platform you want. Many times, there are discussions going on about your brand on these sites, especially Facebook. You want to be involved in that discussion and keep up with what’s being talked about. Social media presence coincides directly with SEO rankings. Google’s algorithms know if your business is active on social media and will rank your website accordingly.

Talk to your web designer about building a strong social media presence so your business can take off in the Google rankings. Your designer or any marketing specialist in their firm should know the basics of utilizing social media. Be sure that your website has clear links to your profiles. You also want to be sure that all that useful content you created can be easily shared on all the major networks as well.

5. Be sure your website is mobile responsive

I made this number 5 because we already talked about this tip in our article about the importance of mobile responsive websites. I decided to include this in our local SEO tips because of its importance. Over 90% of global web traffic comes from mobile devices. In 2015, Google began to penalize websites that weren’t mobile friendly by ranking them lower in searches. Be sure that your website designer creates your website with a mobile first approach and you’ll be golden.

Follow these simple local SEO tips and your website will be a valuable resource to you and your customers. You will see business increase and more happy and informed customers. Noctem Media is aware of these local SEO strategies and others. If you’re looking to build a resourceful website for your business and your customers, schedule a free consultation today!

KyleWeekLocal SEO tips: 5 ways to make your website a valuable resource.
read more

A mobile responsive website is critical for business growth.

No comments

We take our phones and tablet everywhere we go, right? When you’re on the go or sitting in your favorite coffee shop, do you reach for your phone or your laptop when you need quick information? Chances are, you reach for your phone. According to recent data from Statista, over 50% of global web traffic comes from mobile devices. This is up from 31% in 2015. (SOURCE) If your website is not mobile responsive, you are missing out on important website traffic and SEO benefits.

Finding a new spot when you’re on the go.

In our last article about user experience, we used an insurance agency as an example. In this post, lets use a restaurant website. If you’re visiting a new city and you’re looking for a restaurant to go to, you’re going to pull out your phone and start searching. Google will assist in pulling up popular local spots but you like to dig a little deeper. You visit the websites of 3 Italian restaurants. One of them has a stellar website that works well on your phone and provides all the information you were looking for. One has a website that looks like it was created in 2005 and you can’t seem to find ANY information about the menu or prices. The other has a website that is barely mobile responsive. You’re able to read a little bit but you just can’t seem to find the information easily. Chances are, you’re going to choose the restaurant with the superior web presence.

The website of this new found Italian restaurant gave you all the information about their menu, prices, reviews, and more which made your decision much easier. The beautiful, easy to navigate website probably enhanced your view of this restaurant as well. The brand’s web presence gave you a good vibe about the place. To top it all off, you were able to get this information while you were on the go.

SEO benefits of a mobile responsive website.

As a web designer, I can’t stress enough how important a mobile responsive website is for a business. With over half of global web traffic coming from mobile devices, the benefits are clear. Mobile responsiveness also improves SEO which drives more traffic to your business. Google knows if your website is mobile responsive and this affects how you rank. It also leads to more conversions because more people can access your website. The more conversions you have, the more value is placed on your site by Google. Google is in the business of satisfying search queries and if you satisfy those queries, you rank higher.

If you’re in the process of working with a designer, be sure that they are familiar with mobile first design. There is no reason to pay thousands of dollars for a website that is only useful to half of the internet. If you enjoyed this article, check out our article on how to work with your designer to create a better experience for your users. Noctem Media designs every website with a mobile first approach. If you’re interested in working with us, you can schedule a free consultation right now.

KyleWeekA mobile responsive website is critical for business growth.
read more

User experience tips for building a resourceful website.

No comments

I’m sure we have all encountered extremely slow websites that make us want to pull our hair out, right? It always seems to be the websites that we need to load the fastest that seem to take minutes to fully load. This could be the very problem that your potential customers are facing right now when they stumble upon your website. Believe it or not, potential customers will leave your website and find another one that loads faster which means you just lost a lead. In a world ruled by eCommerce and online information, this is the last thing you want to happen when you’re providing information, services, or products online. Here are some user experience tips to keep in mind when planning your website project.

1. Leave out the fancy bells and whistles.

The biggest of all user experience tips: Performance rules over all. Fancy bells and whistles don’t mean anything if it takes your website thirty seconds to load. You could have all the videos, widgets, and scripts in the world but nobody will care if the information they came for is hard to access. The goal of any website is to deliver a resource to the user and make that resource easy to use. If you’re running an insurance agency, potential customers will visit your website for information about your prices and what sets your company apart. They didn’t come to your website for the frills, they came for information. You want to leave these things out and focus on delivering information that is beneficial and easy to find. Videos, scripts, and widgets often times slow the load time of your website and this is problematic when you’re trying to build a reputable resource for potential clients.

2. Create content that is easy to read and easy to find.

We will stick to the insurance agency website scenario. Chances are, your website visitors came to see how your company stacks up against other companies in terms of price and customer service. Be sure to create content that is beneficial and leave out information that doesn’t immediately help your customer. Make this information easy to find by using clear headlines that guide your users in the right direction. Leave out the information that can be talked about in a phone conversation or formal meeting. The goal is to answer a customer’s question but still leave room for curiosity about how your insurance company will benefit them. If you take nothing else from these user experience tips, listen to this one.

3. Keep your navigation simple and keep your page count low.

When it comes to how many pages are on your website, less is more. Try to answer important questions on your home page or one page this is easy to find. If your website is flooded with pages, it will make it difficult to find anything. Don’t you just wish you could go to the library and find EXACTLY what you’re looking for without searching tirelessly for it? This is the same thing. When a potential customer visits your website, they should only have a few options. Each option should benefit the user and contribute to their user experience. Humans tend to get overwhelmed when they are presented with a lot of options. They make quicker, smarter decisions when presented with fewer options.

A great example of this is our project we completed for M&G Electrical Contracting. This is a three page website. All of the important information is on the home page, such as the services offered, company values and information, team members, and contact information. The other two pages are about past work and career opportunities. This practice is beneficial because anyone interested in M&G Electrical Contracting can go to their website and learn all of the basics about the company. From that point, the potential client can call, email, or send in a contact form submission to get more information. This leads to a conversation that could convert in to a sale or project.

4. Make sure your designer optimizes your website for performance.

Many times, designers will throw a ton of scripts and videos on a page because it looks pretty and wows their client. This ends up working against the client because it hinders website performance. When planning your website project, be sure to check and make sure your designer makes the right decisions when it comes to performance. Check to make sure they follow these very basic user experience tips. The designer should take necessary steps to speed up your website using performance best practices. If you are concerned about performance, consider requesting performance reporting. Noctem Media offers this as part of our all-inclusive website management packageThese performance reports are beneficial because they keep you in the loop about how your website is performing and how your customers are experiencing your website.

In today’s fast paced, internet driven world, a high performing website is critical. Hopefully these user experience tips will help you work more effectively with your website designer. If you have been thinking about creating a website for your company or overhauling your current site, Noctem Media is here to help. We offer free web consultations and would be happy to talk with you about your website needs.

KyleWeekUser experience tips for building a resourceful website.
read more