Exquisite Pixel Designs Blog

Doing Small Business Together

Attention Getters for your website!





Demand Attention in your Website

Attention getters are a great way to collect emails, get phone calls, or make announcements about specials you're having. Exquisite Pixel Designs offers website pop ups that can appear anywhere on the screen and will get the attention you are hoping for. 


Getting one of these pops ups onto your site is only a 1 time fee of $15, but can have results that will more then pay for itself in time.

Pop-up designs can be customized to match the style of your website with colors, and images.


The popups can appear on the top of the screen, as a pop up window, on the bottom right as a slider, a complete page take-over, or as a small alert button on the bottom right.



Read below for a description on the different types available:

Call Now
For the mobile version of your website, having a "call now" that's loud and accessible can make giving your company a call a breeze for your customers. While we do have a few tap-to-call features built into the website, this is a feature that really will jump out at your website visitor and definitely demand attention!





Collect Emails: Email campaigning is a great way to turn visitors into customers. Adding this feature to your website will allow the collection of emails and these emails can go right into your mailchimp account so you can send targeted email campaigns. Make sure to offer a free gift for their email.

Social Media Fan:


 Need to grow your social media following? Adding an attention getter where 1 click will create a new follower for your social media is a great way to do this!



Make an Announcement:
 Have an amazing special going on? Create this pop up that can either collect an email address or take your visitor to the appropriate page on your website.



As you can see, there are a variety of functions for website pop-ups.

If you're looking for an exciting new way to get visitor engagement, and possibly turn more visitors into customers, then give this website add-on a try!

Click HERE to get started. 

Kate
www.exquisitepixeldesigns.com

SEO 101-Your website's fate is in your hands!



SEO 101 - Your Website's fate is in your hands!

This post is important for those of you who are logging into the back-end of your website and making your own site edits. 
I think it's important to layout the different parts of a website and why some things are important to be able to rank well in searches, since now your website's performance is in your hands.

If it's important for your website to rank well in searches, then please read on:


Once you are given access into the back-end of your website, you are able to make edits including adding and deleting sections. When I build you website, I make sure each part is enhanced for optimal performance, while also taking into consideration your design needs. So it's best not to delete or remove that which I have built into the site. You can edit or add, but deleting or removing a section may affect your website's performance. You have been warned.

There are essentially 3 parts to your website: the head, the body and the footer.  Let's check these out.


The head


The head ideally should contain the logo (which will be an image), company name, city name and the menu (which should all be in text format). Having your actual business name, and area you service in TEXT form right at the top of the website is best for SEO purposes, as in the example above. This is the first part that a crawler will read. 

It's important to include lots of keywords and phrases that your visitors will be searching for all over your website, and that begins at the head.



The Body

The body obviously contains the bulk of the information and images on your site. This where you seriously need to build up your keywords and phrases, even to the point of repetition. 

Put your best keywords or a very simple explanation of what it is you do right at the top, even on a hero to make it look nice, as in the example to the left.

Create natural paragraphs with information and keywords that your visitors will be searching for.

An example of keywords that visitors may be typing into a Google search would be something like: best nail salon Huntington, CA. So in your website body make sure you include all of those words in a natural paragraph. 

Example: We here at XYZ nail salon, Huntington CA, provide top quality nail services including pedicures, manicures, nail art and more. etc...

This is also why having a blog on your site is good for SEO as well. I have many more posts about helping your website perform well in searches that you can find on my blog.







The Footer

Don't discount the footer of a website. The footer is the section that appears on each one of your pages and is loaded with all kinds of good stuff for SEO. Including an "About" section which, once again should have all of your best keywords sprinkled throughout it. 




There is also a section with your company information including a map and address. This is critical for SEO as well. Crawlers need to know which city and surrounding areas you service so as to know where to bring up the results when someone is searching.

Then, our software also includes a section for some additional keywords, up to 40 to be exact. This is a place where I have taken the time to research the best keywords for your industry and entered them all in. It is best not to modify or remove this!!

The footer also contains links to your social media. This should include your yelp link. I talk about the importance of yelp and algorithm changes for SEO in my other post you can read about HERE and HERE

You may be tempted to remove your footer in your website for design purposes, and I must advise, unless you don't care about getting found in Google searches, please don't do it!


Okay well, there you have a quick breakdown of your website and how each part can play a crucial role in Google searches. 

Please reach out to me or comment below if you have any questions.

-Kate

3 Ways to keep visitors on your website longer.


3 Ways to keep your site visitors on your website longer.



Why is this even important? Well aside from having a better chance of converting a visitor into a customer, it's important because Google will actually rank your website higher in search results if you have longer visitor times. 

Similar to all of the other "importance" factors Google takes into account, this is one more reason Google will have to move your site up in search rankings. Google thinks: if people are hanging out on your website for a while, then it must be good. On the other hand, if your bounce rate is high, and people are spending very little time on your site, Google will start to drop your site in ranking. And this...would be bad. :(

So first things first, you need to know where you're starting. Log into your website and click on the stats tab. (Isn't it great how easy this is to do with our software!)

Take inventory of how long people are spending on your website so you can measure results. 


Keep in mind that the average time spent on a website across the board is under 2 minutes. So if this is you, then you're normal. 

Now that you know your starting point, you can use these 3 ideas to boost this number.

1. VIDEO

People would rather watch a quick video then read a lot of text.

Adding video to your website will encourage your visitors to stop and check it out before proceeding. It can be on the home page, but it doesn't have to be. It can alternatively be put on the "services page" or whichever page your visitor usually visits after landing on the home page. 

You can see this information on your stats tab. 






Under Most viewed pages, the first page visitors land on is the one that looks like this / . This is the home page. The one underneath, is the one circled above. This is the page your average visitor will visit next. Typically this will be your services or products/pricing page. But check it out to make sure. (Obviously this doesn't apply if you only have a 1 page website)


Placing a "how to" video explaining your services, or how you can help your potential customer, or featuring your shop is a great way to keep visitors entertained, engaged and they'll be glad they don't have to read everything to get the information they are seeking. 

For an explanatory video, you can hire someone from fiverr.com to make you a quick cartoon-like video simplifying your product or service and overemphasizing why your visitor "needs" to utilize your products/services. Simply put, cartoons usually are visually stimulating (yes, even for adults) and can quickly capture your audiences attention. 

You can also make a video that shows off your shop/salon/boutique. Maybe interviewing past customers and their experience with your products/services. Dont make it too long, just enough to give a snapshop of how great your business is, and why people need to do business with you! 

Now post it on your website, and keep visitors engaged and wanting to learn more!!

2. TRIM THE HOME PAGE

Keep it simple

In another of my blogs I talk about the problem with "spilling it all on the first date" so-to-speak. Pouring everything out onto your home page could leave site visitors overwhelmed and wanting to get out of there. Think of it like walking into a small space that is cluttered floor to ceiling with stuff. You don't really know where to begin, your brain goes into overload, and as a result, the brain actually shuts down in order to conserve calories.

What you want to do is place strategic "teasers". It's like a really good book. A book that is done well will have a captivating picture on the front and an enticing title. It should make you think: "I just have to read it to find out what happens!" 

This should be your website's homepage.

And remember, if the site visitor can't identify what you do within seconds, they wont stick around long.

Here are some examples of websites doing it right. You will notice some common themes.

Airbnb

4 Rivers Smokehouse

Kind Snacks

You'll notice that these sites have a nice big photo or what we call "hero" image at the top that will have a great big catchy phrase, and then a very simple summary of how they can help the visitor, and then some type of call to action. Along with this, you'll notice that their logo is very small, almost unnoticeable. The reason for this is explained in my other blog about how your website shouldn't be all about you. It should be focused on helping the site visitor to "solve their problem."

This method is used over and over again, because it works. It's called putting the best "above the fold". Your visitor should know, even before they scroll what you do/sell and how you can help them, or you've lost them.

You'll also notice what follows is typically a quick snapshot, usually broken down into sections of 3 or more of services or categories of products and just a bit about that. Again, this should be something that encourages visitors to want to click and learn more. 


Also on the home page towards the bottom they will usually feature a few of their customer's reviews. 

So when we design your website, we do keep all of this in mind. But since you as the client, also have control over what you insert into your website, make sure you keep your home page "trim". And always put yourself in your visitor's shoes. Visit some of your favorite websites, and take a conscious inventory of why it works for you.


If there's something you see that could be an improvement to your website, make sure to try it out, or contact us and we'll implement it into your site for you! Then keep an eye on your site stats to see if it's working!


3. EASY READING

Create stimulating content

This one tends to be a catch 22. You don't want too much text on the home page, however having a lot of content on your website is important for SEO. So basically, keep the longer paragraphs on other pages. And try to implement key words on the home page within your summaries. 

Most people scan the home page of a website. Rarely do they read every single word. So make sure, on your home page you create "scannable content".  Make your font size and spacing large and break up content with paragraphs. This makes it easier on the eyes. 

Also, you want to craft engaging subheading. Be clever, maybe even witty! This will capture the attention, and encourage them to read the smaller subheading below.

Bullets, or checkmarks are a great way to get your point across and highlight your best features/value!



Alright, so there you have it! I hope this helps. And remember, the longer your visitors stay on your website, the more engaged they'll be, and the higher the chance for them to convert.

-Kate




  

Gaining A Competitive Edge



Today I'm going to share a tip with you that's going to help you gain a competitive edge when it comes to dominating the first page in search results. This post goes along with my last post about 2018 Google search rank changes.

This information is going to be particularly useful for service-based, and more specifically home service based businesses. This will also be particularly helpful if you're still not ranking on the first page of searches.
But regardless of what industry you serve, you can still give this a try!


As stated in my last post, Google has changed the way they display search results.
 After the paid ads, the next section Google will display are the Google My Business listings. If you don't currently have a Google my business, you should set up your account HERE. Sign in with your gmail account tied to your business.

The next results will typically be yelp. So once again, set up your yelp page and make sure you get everything filled out on it.










Now after that is where it gets important. So when you do a search for your industry type in your city, see what comes up. Take notes. For many home-based serviced, what you'll typically see after the Google my business is something like homeadvisor.com, thumbtack.com, angieslist, bbb.com.

For tourist type services like restaurants or hotels, you may see something like tripadvisor.com, and some other local directory service specific to your area. Or hotels.com or booking.com, etc. You may see groupon.com listings.

So what's my point?

It's pretty simple: whatever is coming up before individual businesses' websites for search terms in your area, get on those sites. Some may be free and some may not. But what price will you pay to be right at the top of these searches? It may be worth it to you.

As algorithms change, and the web seems to always be an ever-flowing evolution of change, it's important for us to respond, accept and adapt to the changes. Things that may have worked for you 2 years ago, are probably not going to be working for you today.

Even if websites come up right after the Google My business, and then directories come after that, you still want to be on any and all directories for your industry type. Why? Because of something called external linking. Sometimes Google ranks a site better if they have a lot of good quality external or "back-linking". But besides that, it's just good to have your business on as many different places your customers may be hanging out, whether that's social media, local directories, or review sites. Your name should be right there in front of them when they're ready to be a customer for whatever it is you offer.

So do a search today for your industry type and city where you service. And take notes of everything that comes up. If there are websites that you can get your business listed on that Google will favor in their ranking, then consider taking the time, or spending a bit to do it!


                (local home cleaning services directory, handy.com would be a good site to get your business listed on.)

(Doing a search for local landscaping services- houzz.com, and homeadvisor.com would be good sites to get your business listed on)


For some ideas of directories you can list your business on click HERE.

Kate
www.exquisitepixeldesigns.com

Getting found in a Google search for 2018




Boy have times ever changed...

A long time ago, you could put a website up on the web with fairly good SEO, and get found in searches and get traffic to your website.

But times have changed.

Competition is much more fierce. The web is flooded with websites. Industries are saturated with millions of fish in the sea all wanting the first page of a web search.

And I don't know if you've noticed or not, but Google has been displaying things different in their searches. It used to be, if you were to search for something, first would be the paid ads, and then the websites with the best SEO.

Now when we search, we get 2 kinds of ads first.


 Then comes the Google my business listings. This is important. If you don't have a Google my business listing for your business, you wont come up in this list.


But then what comes up are yelp listings. This is even more important. And where I'd like to pause for a minute. 

Since yelp is what shows up next, you definitely need your business to be in this list. If you don't have a yelp account for you business set up yet, do this now! Visit yelp.com It's free to create a business account. Make sure you go through it carefully filling everything out, including uploading photos, entering your website/contact info, etc. You really want to take your time.

After that, you want to create a system where you are regularly asking your customers for yelp reviews. 


Here's how we used to do it at Greg's Carpet Cleaning: After Greg would finish a job, he would leave a card that said: "Thank you for using Greg's Carpet Cleaning. If you have any problems with your services please notify us right away so we can make it right! If you were satisfied with your cleaning, please kindly leave us a yelp review." We also, would offer 10% off their next service.


And this is how we built his yelp reviews from 3 to over 50 5 star reviews!! And let me tell you how much this helped get us found on the web and continue to get business. People would call us from other cities asking us to come clean, but unfortunately, being in Big Bear, that just wasn't going to be a possibility. 


Anyways, the point of the story is: KICK YOUR YELP INTO HIGH GEAR! Use it, it's FREE! And Google weighs it high in searches.


After the yelp searches, you'll find sometimes websites that have good SEO, and sometimes websites similar to yelp such as thumbtack, homeadvisor, etc. So these are other good places to list your business should these apply to your industry type. In other words, find out what these other free directory (or maybe not free) websites are, and get listed on them.


We do our best here to get your website ranked well, but it's no longer enough. As I've mentioned in previous posts, there is still much work to do to get large volumes of traffic to your website and actually get some good leads. 


We build the site and get in on the web, but most of driving the traffic comes from you and your marketing plan for the business, which should include what is listed above as well as social media, etc. 


Make sure that you understand that we live in a different day in age, and just throwing a website up onto the web, is not going to be enough to get the traffic you may be hoping for.


So utilize the tips above, and go back through our other posts for more ideas!


-Kate

www.exquisitepixeldesigns.com

GPS - Part 2






GPS- Part 2 The End Game


 What is your goal in your small business? Why are you doing what you doing? What is your dream? And how in this crazy, busy world do you achieve that?


A lot of people would just wing it, go through life hoping
that the steps we take today will align with that dream at some point.  That would be likened to a family with a day set aside to spend at Disneyland.  They get in the car in San Diego, start out on the freeway and just start driving.  Not knowing what freeways to take or even the correct city to get to, they may never make it there. 
  
            In our small business, how do we get to our dream destination?

      Well that’s what maps are for.  For a business owner, and for any motivated person, goals are our maps.  Goal setting sounds so boring, and for some, may seem like a waste of time because life happens and things change and it seems most of the time, we're just trying to survive.  

         Goals are more than a boring task though, they can be quite exciting, they can be the great motivator, and not only the great equalizer, but the one thing that will set you apart from your closest competitors.  Why is that statement true?  According to the Harvard business school: 

Harvard Business study revealed remarkable statistics relating to goal setting and success. 83% of the population does not have goals
14% have a plan in mind, but are unwritten goals
3% have goals written down.

       This is huge because only 3 of 100 people take time to do this game-changing task.  Think about the ramifications of taking the time to do this.  One day of work, of sitting down with some focus, and you can rise above the rest.  Why don’t we do this?

            And how do we do this?  My take on it is reverse engineering.  What is the dream?  

Let's go back to the example: The dream or goal is to spend a day at the happiest place on earth, Disneyland.  In order to accomplish that goal, there are sub goals. So we arrive at Disneyland, but before that, we took some side streets and before that there were freeways, and knowing the city to get to. Before that we took side streets to get to the freeway and before the side streets, we got up, got dressed and packed and into the car. When we take these little subgoals, and work from the end to the start like this, we'll know WHERE to start, and then the next steps to take to get to the end. Voila! Reverse engineering. Now we have a map and how to get to the destination! You could, likewise work from the beginning to the end, or both ends and into the middle. But either way, get your map together!

Setting the right goals

            Most every development leader will tell you to set smart goals.  Well of course I need smart goals, that’s a given.  Lets break that down deeper.  To them, SMART is better.  S=Specific, M=Measurable, A=Achievable, R=Realistic, and T=Time Specific.  Be Specific on your goals, as clear and direct as you possibly can as to not stray too far off course.  Make it a goal that you can measure whether you are winning or not.  Allow it to be something that is achievable to you.  A realistic goal would be one that is not based in fantasy, such as walking through walls or having the ability to time travel.  Finally, make it time specific in order for you to stay focused on it. 

             There are plenty of different thoughts on goal setting, and how to accomplish it, this being just one of them.  My suggestion would be to take an hour or two and  read up and find one that will work for you.  And once you start, stay focused on the mission.  Make it short term, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many of them, and dig in and go at it.  Keep that momentum going and watch the winning come. 

As always, please feel free to reach out to us and ask any questions that may help you out. 

-Greg

Small Business Owner Struggles

It is the hope and mission of Exquisite Pixel Designs to bring you great looking, user friendly websites that will help you grow your business by getting your message out to a larger audience.  We also care about you as a business owner and know that it isn’t easy.  That is why we will bring you great resources that will help you figure it out.  Please enjoy this quick read and if you know anybody that may need this information, feel free to pass it on. Read More...

3 Reasons Websites are VITAL for businesses via Forbes.com

First Impressions Count 

Let’s face it – we live in a world where people Google before they shop, visit online review sites like Yelp before they buy and “check-in” via Facebook as they go about their days. Because of this, you want your first impression to be the best it can be. Read More

Why Do I Need A Website?

Reason #1 – Online brochure
Companies spend millions creating brochures and distributing them. By having a website you can skip that entirely. Read More

Isn't a Facebook page enough?

Facebook recently announced there are currently 40 million active small business pages on its service, which shouldn’t come as that big of a shock to anyone. Creating a Facebook business page is free and provides you with access to a user base roughly the size of the population of China.

Armed with this knowledge, it is reasonable to assume that many small business owners would forgo the effort of building a website and simply rely on what the largest social media network of all time can give them at no cost. But is a Facebook page really enough?

Well, let’s explore that idea. A Facebook business page does have some limitations. Granted, it’s an excellent way to engage with your user base, as long as they want to engage with you. If you can get someone to “like” your page, that’s great. You’ve clearly shown enough value to your customer that they want to hear more about what’s going on with your business – at least in the short term.

However, if someone begins to grow weary of seeing your posts, doesn’t engage with them, and stops visiting your page to learn about the latest goings-on, Facebook will begin to take your posts out of your previously-engaged customer’s News Feed. Once that happens, you need to start paying to promote posts to people who have liked you, or begin advertising (which of course, isn’t free) to engage new users.

Another limitation to a Facebook business page is a lack of brand control. Yes, you can put your background photo on it, and yes, you can have your logo as the profile picture. Your posts have your voice and the photos show off who you are and the services you provide. But it’s still a Facebook page and will never give the complete brand experience that a dedicated website will.

Also, valuable information isn’t always readily available right when a user lands on the page. Your address may be there, along with your phone number and a Yelp page, but that isn’t necessarily enough. Many potential customers want to learn a little more about who you are and what you’re about. In comparison, a dedicated website enables you to completely control your brand and acts as a main hub on the web where interested, potential customers can go for all the information they’re looking for.

A dedicated website also has Google search on its side. It’s true a Facebook page can be found via a search engine, but it doesn’t provide the same comprehensive SEO control of a dedicated website. This point should not be overlooked. A website enables you to tailor your content to the exact kind of phrases and keywords your potential customers are searching for, compared to a Facebook page that is limited in this aspect. Showing up as highly as possible in online searches is a critical component of any business’ acquisition strategy.

In short, should you have a Facebook page for your small business? Yes, absolutely. It’s free and it’s brand exposure. Is it enough? Probably not. To create the kind of digital presence that is required for a small business to succeed in today’s world, a dedicated website isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity.

(Reference: Itai Sadan, AdWeek)