Generating Website Traffic for Syracuse SMB

Blogging: The Overlooked Tool in Digital Marketing

When it comes to digital marketing, what sets you apart from your competition is finding a specific voice in your product and service niche to demonstrate value and authority and to keep attracting customers and creating new leads and business opportunities. Understanding the importance of regular blogging on your website and it’s relationship to SEO, social media engagement and marketing, email marketing and a host of other factors can make all the difference in your online success and long-term growth.

There are enormous benefits to regular and consistent blogging on your website which can help to drive search clicks and visitor engagement and thereby increase website traffic and leads. The more eyeballs you can get in front of with your website and the more people realize how your products and services can benefit them, the more business growth you can experience.

Blogging: Relevance, Education, Authority

When you are writing a blog post, keep in mind that it needs to be informative, relevant, knowledgeable, and authoritative. And above all, your posts must engender trust. Because trust, or at least the willingness to take a chance, is what sales lead development is all about. Your posts need to be strategically relevant, and provide useful information to your potential client, without being in any way a sales pitch.

An effective company blog on your website (aka “content marketing”) demonstrates to your potential customers that you are not only well informed and know what you are talking about (trustworthy), but it also creates a bit of a personal touch so people can get a feel for your company and how you think about solving your customers problems and meeting their needs. Too often the difference between successful marketing and just skating by is the presence or lack of presence of a personal touch that potential clients can be comfortable with and relate to.

At the end of the day, business is built on relationships. And that personal touch is particularly available to anyone who reads and interacts with your blog, and by extension with your company.

Syracuse Web Design & Online Marketing Partners

When it comes to website design and online marketing, it’s hard to know just where to start. One way to make sure you’re maximizing your website’s potential to help you grow your business is to partner with an experienced Syracuse web design agency like ATS Design Group. Why not contact us today and schedule a free website evaluation and design consultation and put our experience to work for you?


Paul Albee is the digital marketing director of ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. Paul and his team specialize in all aspects of online digital marketing for Syracuse area small businesses including website design and development, blogging and content marketing, search engine optimization, and eCommerce web design and development.

website design maintenance syracuse ny

Website Design & Maintainence Monthly Checklist

Website Maintenance & Items You Should Check Monthly

It is essential in this digital day and age to have some sort of online presence for your business. Did you know that maintaining your website is just as important? We aren’t talking about just big changes like when you move in a different direction or rebrands itself with a whole new image. Even simple things can make a huge difference to online visitors and your business. Below we list the items you need to stay on top of when maintaining your website.

Contact Information and Forms

Your potential customers or clients won’t be able to get in touch with you if they don’t have the tools to do so. This is why you want your contact information to be the first thing that is visible on your landing page or easily accessible without a lot of searching.

Something else you need to check is any contact forms on your website. There could be a technical glitch, a bad email address attached for leads to send to, or any number of reasons that they may not function properly so questions, concerns or requests can be handled.

Promotional Offers and Deals

If there is one thing that annoys someone is finding a coupon or promotion and discovering they are too late and it has expired. If you offer deals or special that require a coupon be sure to update them often so they are valid. When people see outdated coupons and promotions, they get the impression your website is neglected and that is not the impression you want to make to customers. Simply by doing regular updating and changing promotions and coupons you give your visitors a reason to keep coming back and that is exciting for your business.

Image Errors and Broken Links

If your website has URL’s, external and internal link paths that have broken links and images that don’t display on your website, search engines will panelize you. Search engines takes those sorts of things into consideration as a ranking factor. Checking links on your website is something you should be doing monthly. Go through your site and make sure images are displaying correctly and that any links on your site take you to the appropriate page. While this may take some time for website that are larger and more complex, it is very much worth the time and effort and your website will be rewarded for it in the rankings.

Site Loading Speed

There is another maintenance thing you should keep on top of because it can significantly impact your ranking and more importantly conversion rates, is the speed at which your website loads. We live in a world where we want everything now. Statistics have shown that 40% of visitors to a website will leave it if takes more than 3 seconds to load. When designing & developing your website, this should be kept in mind. Even in established website as they go changes and pages are added or removed, that can impact the loading speed. By checking your website’s load times regularly, you won’t be losing business from slow loading speeds.

Your Website’s Blog

If your website doesn’t have a blog that might be something you may want to start. Surveys show that businesses with a blog often receive 55% more website visitors and 97% more inbound links just from having a blog. One of the most important aspects of a blog is making sure to keep it active and updated. Just like other items we mentioned, if a visitor sees outdated content, they get the impression that your website is also neglected and that is not an impression you want to give. Make it a habit to update your blog post with news products, and events related to your business. The bonus of this content is that you can share it across your social media platforms.

By keeping your website maintained, visitors to your site will be better informed and they will have more reason to give you their business.

 


Paul Albee is the digital marketing director of ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. Paul and his team specialize in all aspects of online digital marketing for the construction trades including Web Design Syracuse, SEO search engine optimization, and eCommerce design and development.

Website redesign mobile Syracuse

Does Your Website Need a Good Spring Cleaning?

Spring is finally here, or so it appears for the moment, so while everybody is thinking about getting out and enjoying the warm weather, it’s also a great time to take a dispassionate look at your website and see if a new Spring makeover is long overdue.

With everyone from millennials to baby boomers getting online to do their shopping as well as personal and professional research, it is clearly not a time to be “ho-hum” about the tired, outdated look of your website that was built five or 10 years ago and now looks hopeless out of date when compared to your competitors.

People look at your website in the context of all the other websites they visit, including your competition. Studies have shown that people judge a company by their first impressions of that company. And largely, that first impression is the company’s website. So why give that competition a leg up in digital marketing by looking less attractive than them.

Website Redesign: It’s Easier Than You Might Think

For a regular small business website, where your company is telling the story of who they are and what their products and services are, it’s easy and remarkably affordable to get a great new site with a modern, attractive look and feel.  One of the hottest trends in website design is a clean, uncluttered, minimalist look that is easy to look at, easy to find what you’re looking for, and easy to contact the company.  Lots of pictures, personable “About Us” page, project or product portfolio or gallery.

For companies looking to sell products and services online, it’s just as easy with modern, easy to use and maintain eCommerce solutions and secure payment options. Today’s eCommerce website solutions make it easy for customers to browse and shop, get detailed product information and checkout through a smooth, simple checkout process.  today’s modern small business and eCommerce websites are designed to look good on all platforms, from desktop computer screens, to tablets and on your iPhone too.

So the question is how to move forward and do your research and due diligence to make your website update and makeover a reality. You might want to take a look at our portfolio and see what kind of work other companies have commissioned and then give us a call and set up an appointment to discuss your website design and update needs and requirements.

We’ve been doing website design and online marketing for just over 20 years, so we can help you ideas and inspiration to get you a step or three out in front of the completion fast.


Paul Albee is the digital marketing director of ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. Paul and his team specialize in all aspects of online digital marketing including Web Design Syracuse, SEO search engine optimization, social media marketing as well as print and advertising design.

Wordpress website security

WordPress Website Security

WordPress Website Security: Keeping Your Website Safe

You are in need of a website to grow your business. You would be hard-pressed to find a better, more Google-friendly platform that WordPress. While WordPress has many extraordinarily appealing features that have made it the hands-down favorite among website development platforms.  As a result of this popularity, however, comes a double-edged sword: it is a prime target for hackers.

Some relatively simple steps for WordPress Website Security can go a long way to keep your WordPress website up to date and protected from potential threats. In this day and age, we all know how important it is to keep our computers and websites protected and the following will show you what steps to take to protect your WordPress website.

1. Keep your WordPress platform up to date. WordPress has always been diligent about updating it’s platform to keep would be hackers from doing damage. Always make sure to keep WordPress updated, that includes plugins and widgets as well. If your not running the latest version of WordPress then your running a version that may have known vulnerabilities and bugs that hacker can exploit to their advantage.

2. Never use the default “admin” username. Make sure it is deleted and create a new one with admin privileges. This “admin” username is created when you first install WordPress. This is one of the biggest holes in any consideration of WordPress website security that is the easiest to eliminate. Hackers knowingly target this default username because many people don’t bother to change it. This is a very easy and necessary step to help protect against would be attackers.

3. Use complex passwords to access your website. Many attacks are dictionary-based which means that if you use a single word password, it will eventually be bypassed through process of elimination. It is best WordPress website security practice to use passwords with a minimum of 8-10 characters long, use a combination of numbers, letters and special characters (i.e.: #,@,%).

4. Add a trusted security shield. By adding a security shield such as WordFence, for example, that prevents too many login attempts prevents brute-force attacks, which often involve thousands of login attempts until a password is generated correctly. Your webmaster or developer can add any number of plugins that will prevent these brute-force attacks.

5. Make sure you are making regularly schedule website backups.  If you site ever does get hacked, you should have a quick, easy and painless way to restore your website and get it back up and running with a minimal of reconstructive effort.  A 30 day backup schedule for an average small business website works well for most small businesses.  Talk to you webmaster about how to make this happen.  They can do it for you, or you can do it yourself.

These steps are important for any WordPress website to protect it from will be attackers. But it is just as important to keep in mind that new attacks happen daily and it’s important that your webmaster stay diligent, and implement future security steps.


Paul Albee is the digital marketing director of ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. Paul and his team specialize in all aspects of online digital marketing including website design, SEO search engine optimization, social media marketing as well as print and advertising design.

Successful Website Redesign Considerations

 

Far too often, when a company undertakes a website redesign project, it is with a sense of urgency to solve an immediate problem.  But you can’t just take a “fire hose” approach to your website redesign.  With the recent Google “mobile friendly” algorithm change, may small business owners felt a sense of panic.

Before you undertake any website redesign project, it is helpful to take a deep breath and think about what this opportunity gives you a chance to do.  The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars and end up with a website that solves the immediate problem but doesn’t address your overall brand and marketing goals moving forward.

Successful Website Redesign Considerations

Step number one for any website design or redesign project is “have a detailed plan.” We’ve written a blog post on this process that you might find interested: Successful Website Redesign Strategy.  Take a look. It may be helpful in understanding what you want to accomplish going into a website redesign project.

The most important thing is to step back and take a look at the overall picture.  Define your goal and what it is that you want to achieve, whether it is better search engine visibility, a better user experience on mobile devices, more traffic and sales leads, higher conversions, a more modern and up to date look and feel?

Set aside some quiet time – maybe two or three evenings at Starbucks – and think it all through.  Look at your competitors websites. See what they are doing. Think about your overall brand message.  How do you want your website to integrate with social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn  Writing everything down will help you stay focused and not get distracted.

Don’t Forget About Your Mobile Users.

Having a mobile friendly website (by Google’s standards) is no longer an option. A responsive web design allows your web page to dynamically change and resize itself based on whichever device it is being viewed on: a desktop computer, a tablet, a smartphone.  In May 2015, Google announced that for the first time in history, mobile search (smartphones) outpaced desktop search in 10 countries, including the United States. Your customers are looking at you through the eye of their smartphone. It is important that they like what they see. Making sure your new website is built on a mobile “responsive” platform makes it easy to be sure your content and your brand looks good on all devices.

For additional information, please contact an ATS Web Design Syracuse team member to discuss your needs.