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Austin BBQ on the GO!

Austin BBQ on the GO!

Posted on Jul 14, 2016 by Kate Gothing

Barbecue is big part of life if you live in Austin, TX. If you search the web for top Austin BBQ spots, you’ll get plenty of lists from places like Eater or Do512. Everyone knows that places like Franklin, La Barbecue, Micklethwait, Mueller, Kerlin, Brown’s and Valentina’s are amazing. However, they can also be inaccessible because of (very) long lines and are often subject to selling out early. Finding parking at these places can also be impossible. Perhaps you can’t get up at 7am to wait 4-5 hours in line for lunch. I know I can’t, at least not very often.

That’s why this list is a little different. This is for folks on the go! Continue Reading →

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Smart Web Design: Using SEO and PPC to Design Your Site

Posted on Jul 02, 2013 by Calandra Buckner

Often when designing or redesigning websites, we mostly think about the design and overall aesthetic, and less about the ability for users to find the site, or the overall optimization. What’s the point of a website that looks amazing but can’t be found and isn’t functional? Or even a site that can easily be found but isn’t visually engaging? The whole purpose of a website is for it to be found and for relevant content to be delivered to its visitors. The design and optimization of your website affects your SEO campaign, PPC campaigns, and the overall user experience of your website.  When building or redesigning a website or pages, it’s crucial to incorporate aspects of both SEO and PPC. These tactics should be utilized during the design process and also used for future optimization further down the line. Let’s take a look at some of the most useful SEO and PPC tactics and practices you should apply when creating a new website.

Continue Reading →

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Responsive Design & Mobile SEO

Posted on Mar 06, 2013 by Calandra Buckner

The digital environment is constantly changing. Consumers are consistently taking in information through various channels, which include: laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, and even smart TV’s. Smartphones especially, have become so indispensable to our daily lives that 80% never leave home without their phones in hand. Given this shift in devices and usage, organizations need to adopt websites that are functional, searchable, and provide a great user experience to visitors in all aspects. This is where responsive design comes into play. Responsive design refers to having a website that is designed and programmed specifically so that the design layout is universal across all platforms. The chief benefit of having a responsive design is that you don’t need to have separate mobile, tablet, and PC versions of your site. Responsive design is a shift in how we view websites across all devices. However, most don’t realize that a responsive design layout is a little different from a mobile design layout. A mobile website refers to designing a website that will appear on smartphones and tablets in the most user friendly way possible for those screen sizes and the correlating style of interaction. Design layouts for mobile websites aren’t usually the same or largely congruent to the desktop version of the site.

Although design layouts and aesthetics for responsive sites are meant to span across all devices, optimization is still an important aspect of any website. Let’s take into consideration the following statistics:

  • 50% of mobile searches lead to purchase
  • 95% of smartphone users have searched for local information
  • 61% of users call a business after searching and 59% visit the location
  • 90% of these people act within 24 hours

Given that more and more people are searching for information through mobile devices, search engine optimization is an important piece of the puzzle that may sometimes get looked over. According to Google, responsive design and seo hamilton go hand in hand, more specifically mobile SEO. Mobile SEO consists of numerous best practices that should be implemented for optimal mobile usage, but here are a few key things to remember:

  • Fully optimize all local listings on both Google and Bing. Most mobile cenaless comprar search results are largely influenced by geo-location.
  • Target shorter keywords in order to show up in mobile search results. Most users searching through mobile devices tend to use shorter keywords, which indicates that these searches are usually fast or quick in nature.
  • Enable mobile web analytics in order to make data driven improvements to your mobile SEO efforts.
  • Focus on usability and ease of use.  Users are more likely to bounce from a mobile site if they can’t (1) easily find the information they’re looking for, (2) the load time of the mobile site is slow, or (3) the website isn’t optimized for mobile use. These among other things will deter a mobile user form your site.

It’s easy to see that responsive design and fully optimized mobile websites are a sign of the next frontier of the digital landscape and should be adopted by any organization that doesn’t want to be left behind.

Need a hand establishing your company’s online presence, specifically in the mobile space? Give us a call or shoot us an email today. Over the years, we have established a proven method to help our clients achieve their marketing goals. We have also built lasting relationships with strategic partners such as Apogee Results. Together, we can help your business be a dominant player on and off the field.

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How to Create a DIY CRM System with Google Docs

Posted on Feb 28, 2013 by Derek Singleton

If you’re a small business owner, you’re likely managing everything from your financials to your marketing activities–and you’re doing it all on a limited budget. While you know that you need a better way to manage your sales prospects, especially during periods of growth, you just aren’t ready to pay for a customer relationship management system to keep in touch with potential and existing customers.

At the Software Advice website, I help review and compare most of the major CRM (customer relationship management) systems on the market. But the truth of the matter is that many of the popular systems on the market can be too expensive for many small business owners. For these small businesses, it may be more effective to take the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach and build your own CRM system.

Building your own CRM system can provide several benefits:

  • It’s affordable (read: free)
  • It’s flexible
  • It’s easy to use and customize

A great tool for building a CRM system on your own is Google Docs. If you have a Gmail account, you already have access to an easy way to build your own CRM software. Already widely used as a management tool, it’s fairly easy to extend the power of these applications to help with customer management. Here’s a quick step-by-step overview of how to do it.

Decide Who Gets Access–And What Information to Include
Google Docs allows all users to collaborate across any document thanks to their sharing and editing features. So, if one person changes a contact’s information, it automatically syncs across the system. This allows all document collaborators to see the change immediately. Beyond that, you can monitor user privileges to ensure that all users have access to the right information.

Once you decide who will be able to access and update data in your CRM system, you’ll need to create a Google Spreadsheet. After that, it’s time to determine what information you want to track about sales prospects in your spreadsheet. A few pieces of information that are a good idea to track include:

  • Demographics – company name, contact name, email, phone number, etc.
  • Prospect source – how the prospect found out about your company
  • Next actions – a code that determine how you’ll follow (e.g. phone call or email)
  • Contact log – notes from every contact you make with the prospect
  • Estimated opportunity size – an estimate of the size of the sale
  • Lead nurturing stage – a numbered system that shows how close the prospect is to purchasing (1 = aware but not interested; 4 = has purchased)

Keep in mind that this is just a starter list and you’ll likely want to record other information that’s specific to your business. So feel free to add any field that’s relevant to your company. If after a while you realize that you want to track more information, it’s fairly easy to add a new field.

Learn How to Manipulate the Data with Spreadsheet Functions
One nice thing about using a Google Spreadsheet is that there are easy sort features that allows you to sort by any field you like. If you only want to look at contacts with the biggest opportunity size, just sort by “estimating opportunity size” and you can view your most largest sales prospects from the largest potential sales to smallest.

Or, maybe you’re interested in the looking at the number of companies that are in the very beginning of the lead nurturing stage. You’ve already coded all entries that are in this stage of the buying process with a 1 but you don’t know how many of your contacts are at that phase. To figure this out, you can use a simple function known as a “countif()”. It works like this:

Determine the cell range you want to count sales prospects for (let’s say it’s cells C2 to C100)
Decide the criteria for counting each cell (in this case it’s a “1”)

To count all your prospects that are the beginning of the sales cycle, you can use the formula in cell C101: ‘=countif(C2:C100, “1”)’. This will give you the total number of contacts that are at phase one in the buying process. Of course there are a whole host of other functions that you can use to manipulate that data, but you get the idea. For a comprehensive list of spreadsheet functions that will work in a Google Spreadsheet check out Google’s help page.

With this method, you can start tracking their sales prospects in an efficient and paperless manner. And you can do it for free. As a bonus, you’ll also be able to access this data from anywhere with an Internet connection because information in Google Docs is stored in the Cloud.

Do you have any other DIY tips on creating a CRM system? Leave us a comment below.

 

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Why Your Business Should Offer an E-Book

Posted on Feb 21, 2013 by Kim Willington

It seems that iPads, Nooks and Tablets are all the rage now-a-days and many are tossing out those big, clunky books. So unless you run a publishing company or a newspaper, you may be wondering what that has to do with your business. As e-books have become more popular, a whole new world of self-publishing has opened up for authors and companies alike.

If you have not already taken advantage of the possibilities for publishing your own e-book, here are a few reasons why you should:

A Published Book Builds Your Authority
Say your company offers consulting services to small businesses. You can build your reputation and establish your authority as an expert in your field by getting testimonials from clients, writing articles, or even speaking in your community. Or you could publish a book. A published book — whether it is an e-book or a print book — instantly establishes your authority on a subject.

The more e-books you have to your name, the more impressive it will be for customers. Publish books in your niche and display them prominently on your site. Market the book to get positive reviews from reputable sources and you will build even more clout with customers.

Creating a Comprehensive Guide Better Serves Your Customers
Your products and services help your customers to solve a problem or to meet a need. You can serve your customers even more by creating a comprehensive guide that provides insights or solutions for a large problem or need. If you run a financial advising company, you can create a guide about investing in mutual funds or how to retire before 50. If you offer weight-loss products, you can write a book about how to get in shape after a baby or what kinds of foods you can eat to lose weight fast.

Offering e-books is another way to serve your customers, and the medium allows you to offer more in-depth answers and solutions.

An E-book is a Great Incentive to Build Your E-mail List
Your opt-in email list is an important way to build relationships with customers and to drive repeat sales. Offering an incentive is a great way to grow your e-mail list faster.  A free e-book that offers a solution for your customers needs will help you to grow your e-mail list quickly. You can write a book especially to give away to subscribers, or you can make your paid e-book free to those who subscribe.

Just be sure that whatever e-book you offer, it provides useful and actionable information for your customers. If the e-book is the first thing that your customers see from your company, you want to make sure it is indicative of the quality they can come to expect from you.

You Can Sell an E-book to Generate Extra Revenue
Of course, one of the most immediate benefits an e-book can have for your business is to give you another way to generate some extra income. The more books you offer and the more popular they are, the more money you can make. If you develop a popular line, your e-books can become a whole other product offering.  Consider how your e-books can compliment your current products offerings or can create an additional focus for your business.

Publishing an e-book or a series of e-books can offer a number of benefits to your business, including helping you to establish your authority in your niche, encouraging growth of your e-mail list, offering your customers more value, and even generating additional income. If you aren’t already offering e-books, it might be time to consider doing so.

Does your company offer e-books? Share how it has benefited your company in the comments!