Moving Forward with your New Website

new website

1. Spread the Word!

When a site is launched, it’s important for the client to be excited about it and want to share it to their friends, family and professional networks. We try to express the importance of getting the word out and some ways to do so once the site is live.

  • Email Newsletter – if you have a newsletter or email list, be sure to let them know that the new site has launched and even more importantly, how it can help their business or add value to them. Mailchimp is what we use and highly recommend.
  • Social Media – use your network of Facebook friends, family or co-workers to get the word out. You’d be surprised how far one post can go when it’s shared and liked. Also, if you’re active on Linked In, Instagram or other socials, share away!!
  • Word of Mouth – word of mouth is still the most powerful referral. If you’re as excited as we are when your site launches, tell those around you! Get their opinion and see what they think about your new online presence. That’s valuable feedback that may come in handy when considering changes and additions to the site moving forward.

2. Ask for Reviews!

Most businesses these days understand the importance of online reviews; whether Google Reviews, Facebook, Yelp, etc. But most aren’t sure how to go about how to get them or what type they should focus on.

  • Google Review – this is highly recommended as google reviews are generally what will pop up when somebody finds your site with an online search. You can either have your customers google your business, then leave a review.
  • Facebook Reviews – FB reviews are also great and are now a more reputable spot for customer reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask for your customers to leave a review on your Facebook page and have them share it. Or get their permission for you to share it.
  • Testimonials for Website – after your website is live, we recommend gathering as many testimonials as possible to post on the website. Even if you don’t currently have any on the site, if you can gather 5-10 good, personalized reviews (usually gathered via email or off of google or Facebook) we can eventually set up a testimonials page. Users will often look for reviews ON the site as well as on other outlets before making a purchase, calling or emailing. We recommend putting the best ones on the site.

3. Keep Things Fresh & Updated!

  • Change Out Images – we recommend changing out or updating images 1-3 times a year. If your website has a main image right when you open the front page, it’s important to keep that fresh and new. For the user, it looks like you’re taking the time to update your site and therefore making it more valuable for them.
  • Colours/Layout – if your site has been sitting for more than a year or so, it’s strongly recommended that you do something to spice it up. Whether it’s making some cosmetic changes to the action colors or menu bar, or even just adjusting or adding some new graphics/images. Keeping your site fresh is a GREAT way to keep people coming back.
  • Keep Your Information Updated – if information, staff, hours or services change for your business, be sure to change the website too! There’s nothing worse than having wrong information on a website. Or have a staff member’s picture on the page who doesn’t work there anymore. Keep your website updated and streamlined to your business.

4. Build Site Content!

  • Blog – blogging sounds a bit overrated and useless to a lot of people and we can understand that, but the facts are the facts – websites with blogs generally drive 30-40% more traffic to their sites than their competitors. Google will often pick up blog posts before picking up major website pages. If you can contribute good, lasting content that is well thought out and valuable to your customers, you will drive more traffic. Don’t be afraid to use social media and use your network to get the word out. It’s worth having someone maintain a solid website blog to drive your traffic and grow your online presence.
  • New Pages – it’s generally good practice to not only update your images and graphics, but also your content! If you have more services to add to your site, do it! Google LOVES seeing that a site is being built on to. You can also repeat the steps above by reposting your site to your social media outlets and saying that you have updated images, content, new blog post, etc.
  • Updated Content – if things in your industry change or your services change, be sure to update your site accordingly. Even adjusting content by a few words can show google that your site is being worked on and is again…”alive”.

5. Protect Your Website!

  • Over 50% of all web traffic is currently spammers, bots, malware and hackers. If you haven’t already joined with us in protecting your website, we highly, highly recommend it. The fact is that sites are getting hacked left and right these days. And most of the time, for no reason more than a hacker thousands of miles away just happening to find a way in or a web spider that got through a hosting companies firewall, etc. If your site isn’t protected and secured, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a breach.

 

Why You Need a Visual Strategy for Your Brand

Judy - Social media Expert

Why You Need a Visual Strategy for Your Brand Imagery

What is a brand, anyway?

So let’s take a step back for a moment and talk about branding. Not surprisingly, marketing genius Seth Godin has one of my favorite definitions of a brand:

“A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one service [or product] over another.”

A brand is more than a set of brand collateral. More than your logo, your colour palette and your website – it is an experience, and your visuals should help communicate that and showcase your brand style no matter what the touchpoint is, immersing your audience within your story and including them on the journey.

Resonating at an emotional and instinctual level, a powerful brand communicates your values subconsciously, resonating directly with your dream clients and attracting the right audience.
And how do we do that, you might ask? Through styled brand imagery.

The Importance of Styling Your Brand

The ultimate goal here is to create a visual style that tells a story, so that whenever people see your images, they know it’s your content and it feels connected to the rest of your brand. It’s that feeling of seeing an image and automatically exclaiming “That’s so….”. We know the brand so well because they’ve succeeded in defining their brand style.
There should be consistency at every brand touchpoint – your branding, your website, your social profiles, your imagery – people “get” that it’s your brand because of consistency in the colour palette, the tone, the voice and the visuals, while all tying back to your brand vision and values. Moving forward, this will serve as a filter for any content you produce, and trust me – it starts to become so inherent that you’ll barely have to think about whether something is “on brand”
.
Styling your brand allows you to communicate an intentional message, attracting your dream audience, enticing them to want to work with you and thereby realizing your goals.
 
How do you leave your audience with a first impression that captivates and imagery that tells a story and evokes an emotional response? Take the time to follow your curiosity and explore your inspirations. Pay attention to the details and focus on creating a visual strategy for your brand. Through doing so, you’ll be able to start defining the details that set your brand apart and showcase its distinct personality and style.

SEO Versus DESIGN

SEO VS DESIGN

Once upon a time, website designers only had to think about design. Criteria such as: Was the website functional? Did it meet design principles? Was it user-friendly?

Then, a few years back, someone cottoned on to the fact that it was no good having a pretty website if search engines couldn’t find it. And, lo, Search Engine Optimisation became the flavour of the moment.
And thus began the debate between designers and content providers.

At Collingwood Web Design we believe that both good design and good SEO are key. We have all seen those content-driven websites that hurt our design-sensibilities; and at the same time, we are well aware of gorgeous websites that may as well not exist because they are invisible to search engines.
Sometimes design is KING, sometimes SEO. Collingwood Web Design expertly blends the two.

Websites need to beautiful and stand out if you want your product or service to stand out but you also have to be able to find them.

At Collingwood Web Design we ensure that Design and SEO go hand in hand. Contact Us today to see how we can assist you with both web design and crucial SEO.

And if you’re thinking your business website doesn’t need our SEO expertise, then fell free to get our FREE GoogledByGoogle SEO analysis – You’ll probably be surprised by the results… We can help.

Collingwood Web Design  & SEO

F this…

F THIS

Social Media Maintenance from Collingwood Web Design

Why manage your social media accounts when you do not have time? We know what works for our clients and find that regular weekly posts keep consistent presence for your social media accounts.

Here is what we can do for you:

Facebook…

Weekly posts to your Facebook page on your behalf.
Manage the page by liking comments or answering questions on your behalf.
Email specific questions to your office.
Expand your Fan base by boosts or connecting with other businesses.
Keep your message consistent to your brand.
Deleting junk or spam comments to keep your page clean.

Twitter

Companies use Twitter to promote, connect and brand a company.
Twitter is great for connecting with customers. This is the main reason why you should use twitter for your business. You will be able to connect with your customers because they themselves are using Twitter. Twitter has become a daily routine where people log onto it every single day, some log onto twitter the first thing they wake up even before brushing their teeth. If you have an unsatisfied customer you will hear them on twitter. This will help your company to help them.
One of the reasons to use twitter is you get to market your product or services to more people and the best part about that is its FREE.
At the end of the day, once you have engaged, helped your customers (your followers) on twitter. They will be loyal to your brand for a long time.

Pinterest

Pinterest is still relatively young, but it has an incredibly active user base and continues to grow. It can help businesses maximize their visual marketing by having the longest active links on any social network. Its users are going to Pinterest to plan, dream, pin, and buy. If your business is not on Pinterest yet, you need to seriously take a second look at the opportunities this platform can provide.

Google+

Weekly posts to your Google+ page on your behalf.
Expand your local presence in Google which helps your search engine results.
Keep your message consistent to your brand.
Deleting junk or spam comments to keep your page clean.

Call us at 705 446 9696 for more info. Or contact us here.

John & Judy

Collingwood Web Design wants to help you with your Branding

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a small business like yours?

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and what people perceive you to be.

Defining Your Brand

Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:

  • What is your company’s mission?
  • What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
  • What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
  • What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?

Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers. And don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think.

Because defining your brand and developing a brand strategy can be complex, consider leveraging the expertise of a nonprofit small-business advisory group or a Small Business Development Center . Which is what we do right here in Collingwood – Let’s brainstorm over a coffee 🙂

Once you’ve defined your brand, how do you get the word out? Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:

  • Get a great logo. Place it everywhere.
  • Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
  • Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business–how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.
  • Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. You get the gist.
  • Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
  • Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
  • Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you–or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
  • Be consistent. I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail. Contact me, John Warren for a consultation about how we can get your unique, special branding up and running and get you results. 705 446 9696. Or you can fill out this form and we’ll get back to you.

Clean Up and Optimize Your Computer

This post discusses using CCleaner to cleanup temp files, cookies, and internet history, manage startup programs, and even how to whitelist important cookies.

There’s more to CCleaner than clicking a single button. This popular application for wiping temporary files and clearing private data hides a variety of features, from fine-grained options for tweaking the cleaning process to full drive-wiping tools.

CCleaner is easy for beginners to use – just launch it and click the Run Cleaner button. But there’s a lot more you can do with it.

Download Crap Cleaner here

Read the full Crap Cleaner Tips and Tricks here

New WebSite for Zermatt, Switzerland

I’m currently working on a totally new website for the tourist hotspot of Zermatt in Swizerland. I lived there for 23 years before I came back to Canada and moved to Collingwood.

Zermatt is a tiny village in the Swiss Alps with approximately 6’000 inhabitants. It’s also one of Europe’s premier ski resorts and swells to some 20’000 guests during the winter high-season. Zermatt is found at the foot of the Matterhorn in the German-speaking canton of Valais in southern Switzerland.

Anyway have a sneak peek at what I’m up to!

Google to Reward Mobile-Friendly Websites.

Collingwood Web Design is Mobile Friendly! Are you?

Boy oh boy, just when you thought you had a good page rank on Google, they turn the tables around and now say they will rank (higher) websites that are “responsive” and view nicely on mobile devices.

But we can help: We have been designing new websites that are responsive and look great on all sized devices for years: Large computer screens, tablets, mobile phones, you name it, our designs respond to the size of the screen they’re being viewed on.

Make sure your site is responsive, which is to say it views well on a mobile phone or tablet. This new Google policy comes into play April 21, 2015.
To see if your existing site is mobile friendly, check out this link: Mobile Friendly

By all means, contact Collingwood Web Design for a free consultation to see how we can make your website mobile friendly.

You can also give us a call and we’ll do coffee… 705 446 9696

We integrate social media – Collingwood Web Design

There are a number of reasons and methods for integrating your website with social media and video or photo sharing web sites. Using these sites you can direct traffic to your website on a regular basis or when you have something new to share. The inbound links from high-profile websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr and now Google+ will increase your search engine results page ranking.

Using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ you can communicate with potential and regular customers letting them know about upcoming events, new products and services, special offers and discounts. Create a professional profile on LinkedIn to demonstrate your skills and expertise for anyone looking for what you offer. Create a Facebook page and post photos of recent work or new products, with links to your website’s portfolio or products page. Create a Twitter profile and post relevant tips and information with links to corresponding articles on your website. Create short videos and upload to YouTube to showcase your work or demonstrate useful tips to help clients. Always include a link back to an appropriate landing page on your own website and ensure you include a call to action on that page.

Contact us for more information about Our Social Media Marketing Service for your Business

We can meet for coffee too – just call 705 446 9696

Does your business need a website? (YEP)

More Reasons for Getting your Business Online.
Your Competition Has a Website…
If you are in direct competition with another business that has a Website, they have a clear advantage – especially if they are adequately marketing their Website.

People Will Look for You Online

Sooner or later, someone’s going to type your name or business into a search engine. What do you want them to find? Nothing? Or worse yet: your competition. These are people who want to find you. They are looking for what you are selling, and if you don’t have a Website then you’re letting them down – they expect to find you online. For many people, you might as well not exist if you can’t be found with a search engine. Not having a Website is like not bothering to get listed in the phone book. Can you run your business without a phone? In this “Information Age” we live in being online is vital.

Websites are Great Advertising

Whatever you’re advertising – services, products or just yourself – a Website is a great way to do it. Every other kind of advertising going costs a premium, especially if you want to target a specific kind of person, and there’s no guarantee that they’re paying attention. Websites are like brochures that are free to reproduce, interactive, and quickly distributed to people who are already looking for them. No advertising medium even comes close to the ease-of-use and effectiveness of a Website.

You’re Open 24/7

A Website will allow your business or organization to be open 24/7 (24 hours a day, seven days a week). Many people surf the Web in the evening when most businesses are closed. But if you have a Website they can find, you are just as good as open. Is your competition open 24 hours a day, seven days a week? The world is your oyster – especially with a Website, which allows you to communicate with audiences worldwide (as long as you both understand the same language). Geographical locations or time zones are no longer a problem with the 24/7 availability of a Website.

So, if you’re not online, contact us at Collingwood Web Design for a free consultation about how we can work together to get your business online – creatively, professionally and at a great price!