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Affordable Small Business Website - ApplianceTech-inc.com-315

Affordable Small Business Website – ApplianceTech-Inc

Affordable Small Business Website - ApplianceTech-inc.com-315
In the modern world, virtually all businesses need an online web presence. When searching for information regarding a company or product, the first place many people will look is via a Google Search. Websites, however, can seem like a big hurdle, especially for a small business.

Designed by Digital Hill, Appliance Tech Inc.’s new one-page website is simple, affordable, professional and manageable.  It takes helps you overcome the website hurdle with a website that meets all your small business needs.

Small Business Website Features

  • SEO tools – SEO is a determining factor on where a site ranks in Google. SEO also affects the amount of site traffic. The SEO tools (accessible through the CMS system) allows content creators and admins on the site to customize site metadata, domain names, keywords, H tags, and page titles according to the best SEO practices.
  • Responsive design – As a mobile responsive site, ApplianceTech-Inc.com offers a great user experience on any device, mobile or desktop.
  • Simple CMS System – There is no need to know how to code with this back-end system. Digital Hill’s CMS system puts control of practically the entire site into the hands of the page’s admins. Editing of the image gallery and contact form are easily performed. If the business wishes to add an about page, for example, it can be accomplished in a matter of minutes with site-appropriate templates.
  • Contact Form –  Visitors can get more information, purchase services, or leave a comment, can use the contact form.

A Good Example of Starter Site

The website design is simple and straightforward, providing visitors with an attractive and easy-to-navigate layout. The image gallery takes up much of the page and is effective in showing potential clients technicians in action. Thus serving as a preview of the services provided while immediately providing a link to a contact number. The footer and navigation bar give the site more branding power with the logo, social media profiles, phone number and to-the-point copy present.

ApplianceTech-Inc.com is a good example of a starter site. Featuring ease-of-use for both the customer and the business managing it. Digital Hill’s CMS system provides the tools to expand a site as needed. The one-page site serves as Appliance Tech Inc.’s portal to a much wider audience and customer base. Small businesses looking to get on the internet quickly and cost-effectively can look to Appliance Tech Inc’s example. This website offers all a small business needs in an online presence without the high costs.

Fort Wayne Social Media for Business Workshop

Practical, tactical, and empowering workshop to help businesses take advantage of the power of social media as a way to market their business.

• Want to use Social Media strategically in your business?
• Trying to determine what social networks to be on?
• Having trouble keeping up with the latest social media marketing updates and best practices?

All this will be covered and a strategic plan overview for how social media
can be used by your business to grow leads and sales will be outlined to attendees!

Social Media is different than traditional marketing.  Learn about the methods for Attraction, Engagement, Lead Capture, Conversion, and more.

The workshop, presented by, Mike Gingerich, and hosted at the Greater Fort Wayne Inc. offices will help entrepreneurs, small businesses and marketing teams from larger businesses understand how they can use the latest tools and updates in social media as part of their overall integrated marketing plan to increase their website traffic, reach new customers, and nurture new leads to become clients.

Businesses will have the following questions answered:

  • What social networks should our business focus on?
  • How can we not just spend time, but gain real leads via social media?
  • What trends for 2017 in social media do we need to be aware of?
  • How do we use Facebook Live Video, Instagram Stories, & Facebook Ads?
  • How does social media fit into our overall marketing plan?
  • How do I capture leads from social media?

A question and answer time will be included for the final 15-20 minutes to answer your specific questions.  Each participant will leave with actionable steps to help guide them in next steps they can take to improve their use of social media for their business.

WORKSHOP DETAILS:

Date: Thursday, Feb. 2, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m SOLD OUT

Date: Thursday, March 16, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Chamber, 200 E. Main St, Suite 800 Fort Wayne 46802
In the Doermer Central Room. The receptionist can direct you.  NOTE: Use the public parking garages nearby. Parking onsite not validated.

Cost: $25; discount for 2 or 3 attendees from the same business.

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Get practical knowledge and tips you can implement anytime!

001-mike-gingerich-maincut-out-354-squareAbout Mike:

Mike offers no-nonsense,  straight talk on growing leads and leverage with social media and digital marketing to help small and medium-sized businesses elevate their game and win online.

Mike is President of Digital Hill Multimedia, having started in business development and website sales, and then as social media exploded, gravitated towards Facebook and the marketing side of how to use social and tools to grow your audience, increase your leads, and convert more sales.  He is a co-founder of  TabSite, a industry-leading promotion and contest app platform, author of the book Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation, and thoroughly enjoys leading social and online marketing trainings.

Keys to Make Sure your Website Doesn't Crash

Keys to Make Sure your Website Doesn’t Crash


Black Friday has come and gone. Some companies got a good boost to their bottom line; others are left picking up the pieces of missed opportunity. You’d have to be living under a rock not to know about the biggest shopping day of the year. Some retailers’ websites weren’t ready to handle the influx of traffic and left consumers out in the cold.

By 10am Cyber Monday morning, shoppers has spent over $540million dollars according to Adobe. But not everyone was ready for the influx of traffic. Old Navy experienced periodic outages and massive delays. Shoppers got a landing page that stated … “Hmmm, something’s not right. We appreciate your patience and we’re working to fix the situation.”

Keys to Make Sure your Website Doesn't Crash

But Old Navy customers flocked to Twitter to express their frustration about the losing their shopping carts full of items, not being able to use sale prices and going to the site excited to spend and not being able to even see the site.

Keys to Make Sure your Website Doesn't CrashKeys to Make Sure your Website Doesn't CrashKeys to Make Sure your Website Doesn't Crash

Old Navy probably lost millions of dollars with their down website. But, even worse, they had dissatisfied customers which may not buy from the Old Navy site again.

Why do Websites Crash?

There’s really no excuse for a website that crashes at the first sign of heavy traffic. Just like on Black Friday, a down-and-out website not only leads to frustrated shoppers, it may lead to them shopping the competitor and never coming back.

While there are a number of reasons a website can crash, often it’s because of a traffic spike. That means that you’re most prone to a website crash exactly when it matters most, during the launch of a new product that everyone wants to get their hands on.

Protecting Against Crashes

Fortunately, there are a couple of steps that proactive businesses can take to make sure their website stays up and running 24/7.

Daily backups of your entire website, including databases, is a good place to start. That way you know even if your site does crash, you’ve got a current backup you can turn to.

Keep your website software up to date. You don’t want a simple bug or glitch that’s been fixed in a new release be the reason your site goes down.

Be aware of data caps. Some web-hosting companies limit the amount of data that can flow in or out of your website. Know if you have a cap, and what it is. If you’re expecting a ton of traffic, get the cap removed for a short time.

Test your site and any new content regularly to make sure it’s functioning correctly.

Take a Load Off

Perhaps the most important tool to help prevent your website from crashing is load testing. This test is best done by an IT professional and is on the server or web hosting level. It simulates the real-world use of your website by thousands of users to find problems and flaws in your website. You can backup databases and check content regularly, but unless you subject your website to the stress of a load test, you can’t really be sure you’re ready to handle increased traffic.

This test can find insufficient bandwidth or infrastructure problems, which are fixable and rely largely on the server doing your website hosting. Testing will also find holes in the website’s code, allowing you to make adjustments before the problem becomes more serious.

There’s no 100% bulletproof way to keep your website from the risk of crashing. But, if you’re proactive about website maintenance, you can lower the risk of crashing at an inopportune time, and downtime will be greatly reduced.

Conferences Marketing Professionals Need to Attend in 2017

Conferences Marketing Professionals Need to Attend in 2017

Conferences Marketing Professionals Need to Attend in 2017

Marketers are continually learning and honing their skills to stay on top of the ever-changing world of social media.  One way to accomplish this is to define your goals and look for marketing conferences and workshops that best fit your individual needs.

Here’s a list of what we consider to be the top conference for social media marketing professionals in 2017.  Mark your calendars so you don’t miss these upcoming events.

March 2017

SXSW Interactive 2017 – March 10-19, 2017 in Austin, TX

http://www.sxsw.com
Highlights:
• This year’s event will be making it easier for attendees to take advantage of all programs, as one badge is all that will be needed for all learning, networking, and discovery events.
• This year the conference will consist of 24 different events and new opportunities for ongoing education and networking events offering peer-to-peer sharing.
• Networking Events: Taco Meet Up, BBQ Crash Course, Music and more
• New Keynotes, Featured Speakers & 750+ Sessions at the 2017 SXSW Conference
Registration Information at https://www.sxsw.com/attend

Social Media Marketing World 2017 – March 22 – 24, 2017 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmworld
Highlights:
• The Social Media Marketing World event brings together over 4,000 marketers to share their social media marketing ideas, guaranteed to inspire, empower and reinvigorate your social media programs.
• The Networking Plaza will provide ongoing networking opportunities and the opening night event, will give attendees the unique opportunity to engage with their peers on an aircraft carrier.
Registration information available at http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmworld/register

September 2017

Content Marketing World (CMWorld 2017) – September 5 -8 2017 in Cleveland, OH

http://www.contentmarketingworld.com
Highlights:
• Content marketing world brings together top industry leaders sharing their knowledge and expertise in the content marketing industry.
• With a record breaking 3,600 attendees from 55 different countries in 2016, the 2017 conference promises more industry experts and more attendees brought together to share ideas and new innovations.
• The 80+ sessions were developed by thought leaders to share their strategies, integration and measurement techniques.
Registration is currently closed, check here http://www.contentmarketingworld.com/registration

November 2017

INBOUND Conference – November 2017, Boston, MA

http://www.inbound.com
Highlights:
• The INBOUND Conference consists of sessions developed to educate, entertain and networking events.
• The event is a “must attend” for all inbound sales and service professions.
• Attendees are brought together to share their insights on content and strategies while taking part in the numerous networking opportunities.
• Together there will be over 250 industry leaders sharing their expertise at organized seminars and breakout sessions.
Registration currently closed, check back at http://www.inbound.com/inbound16/register

Dates TBD

Social Fresh – Date and location TBD

https://www.socialfresh.com
Highlights from 2016:
• Social Fresh features presentations, workshops, roundtable discussions and numerous networking events to share insights with colleagues and peers.
• The conference secures industry leaders to speak offering a complete look at the industry, trends, and solutions for social media marketers.
Registration not open at this time, check back at https://www.socialfresh.com

newest-website-weve-built_-the-lagrange-county-community-foundation-lccf-net-315

The Newest Website We’ve Built: The LaGrange County Community Foundation (LCCF. net)

newest-website-weve-built_-the-lagrange-county-community-foundation-lccf-net-315

The LaGrange County Community Foundation connects youth organizations, students and the community to numerous scholarships and grants funded by donors. With a mission to sustain leadership and service in  LaGrange County community, millions have been raised for projects and community needs in areas such as arts and culture, recreation, and human services. Keeping this in mind, we have designed a new website for the foundation.

Our new website makes it easier for donors, students, and community members to use and navigate the site with:

  • Mobile Responsiveness

    Viewing the website on the mobile device is just as easy as viewing it on a desktop. This makes it accessible for students on-the-go or for visitors to take a quick look on a smartphone or tablet.

  • Organized Front Page Design

    A good front page answers questions quickly. The new website is laid out so the target audience is routed to the appropriate links quickly. New visitors are invited by the gallery to explore the new site and call to actions (CTAs) while getting a glimpse of current scholarships and upcoming events. Right below the gallery, 3 hyperlinks (accompanied by effective graphics) are available; Ways to Give, Apply for A Grant, and Find a Scholarship.

Starting with the website’s Global Navigation, the site is divided into 6 sections with some tabs having drop-down menus for simplicity. The first 3 sections provide information about donors, grants, and scholarships.

  • Donor Opportunities

    Donors and their charitable donations are the backbone of the foundation. The website directs potential donors to several ways of giving (through life insurance, cash, or trusts), fund types, donor rights, and a FAQs.

  • Grants

    The LaGrange County Community Foundation provides grants for programs that provide needed or innovative services to LaGrange County. Qualifying nonprofit and government organizations are eligible to receive a grant through the application process. LIFE Grants are available for local youth organizations and schools.

  • Scholarships

    There’s an astounding amount of scholarships provided by the Foundation. Most of the scholarships were inspired by local residents and are provided to students attending local schools. While some scholarships are targeted for general access to higher education, there are plenty geared toward specific subjects such as journalism and agri-business.

A community-based foundation, the LaGrange County Community Foundation furthers its mission in the community by providing donors with an avenue to give and by offering a great amount of scholarships and grants to students and organizations. Donors, students, community leaders, and schools can navigate the new website and help the foundation fulfill its goal of enhancing the LaGrange County community.

Most importantly for the organization, they can easily control adding new content, pages, news, and keep the latest information in front of their web visitors.  More than a site, it’s a powerful communication tool using Digital Hill’s advanced website CMS system.

It’s a win for the organization and those they serve!

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SEO Basics

SEO Basics [infographic]

SEO_Basics header

Are you overwhelmed by SEO? To correctly optimize a page for SEO takes time and persistence but it can be learned.

Keywords

Keywords make SEO work. They’re what people use when searching online and what search engines look for when scanning websites. The keyword should always be included in the title, URL, and headings. The keyword should also be in the first paragraph and last sentence and makeup between 3-5% of the text.

Post Title

A post title is how you describe what your topic. It should be an H1 heading, and contain the keyword(s). Ideally, it will be between 50-60 characters. That’s the character limit for search results.

URL

The URL is the address of your post and should mirror the title of the post, including the keyword, and be between 50-60 characters.

Images

Images add impact to a page and help with SEO. Use a jpeg to ensure quality and include the keyword in the name, and alt-text. Also, compress the image to help it load quickly.

Meta Description

The meta description appears in search results under the title post and should include the keyword and be between 135-160 characters. Make them intriguing with a call to action to encourage the reader to click.

Links

Use one link for every 120 words with internal links going to relevant pages within your site. External links should go to large, authoritative sites.

SEO_Basics

Digging Into Google Analytics Workshop @ The Goshen Chamber

GoogleAnalyticsGraphic

Join Mike Gingerich and Joe Mehl at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce University Workshop…

DIGGING INTO GOOGLE ANALYTICS WORKSHOP

Together we’ll cover the in’s and out’s of Google Analytics and how it can be used by businesses to help understand your website traffic and how understanding that traffic can help grow your business!

At the Google Analytics Workshop hosted by the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, we will cover the following:

  1. 10 must-knows about Google Analytics
  2. How to generate a monthly website traffic report
  3. How to break down and understand the data
  4. One-on-One workshop (if time allows)

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We’ll take a look at the basics that everyone using Google Analytics needs to know and then dig into a few more advanced tools that can help your business with everyday operations.

 

ga1Google Analytics is an incredibly robust, free tool for measuring web traffic data but it can be very daunting when you see all of the data! At our Digging into Google Analytics Workshop, with Mike Gingerich and Joe Mehl of Digital Hill will dive in and explore ways of using Google Analytics to gather and evaluate performance data, to make your website work for you! Beginning with learning basic definitions and metrics, you’ll walk away with a fundamental understanding of how to use Google Analytics.

Goshen Chamber University – Digging into Google Analytics Workshop

When: Thursday August 4th, 2016, 8 – 9:30 am

Where: Goshen Chamber of Commerce Building, 232 South Main Street, Goshen, IN 46526

Fees/Admission:  $25/person

We encourage attendees to bring their own laptops to access your Google Analytics’ account.

To register online, click the “Click Here to Register” button below or, email nkieffer@goshen.org or call Nick Kieffer at (574) 533-2102.

How to Create Content when You're too Busy to Write

How to Create Content When You’re Too Busy to Write

How to Create Content when You're too Busy to Write

Creating useful SEO-rich content for your website is valuable but it also can be time-consuming, especially if you’re trying to write a new blog post or article on a fresh concept. Research and planning are often the most laborious steps in creating useful content that will draw your readers in further. Often times this is what causes a business to stop blogging or adding new content to their site.

Think you don’t have the time to plan content creation? Here are 5 tips to help you, no matter how busy you may be, plan and implement excellent content to increase your site’s readership.

Take Simple Notes Whenever You Get an Idea

Ideas may seem like they come far too sparingly in the writing process, leading you to believe you simply don’t have enough time to write informative, SEO-rich content. Ideas don’t need to come to mind only when you’re trying to create content. Whenever you think of something you’d like to blog about, jot it down! This gives you a strong foundation to create the type of content you want, in a fraction of the time.  By jotting down 4-5 ideas, you basically have an outline that you can flush out into a new blog post article.

Write Whatever You Can on Your Mobile Device

Chances are, you use a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device. Cranking out an entire blog post on your phone may not sound like a solid plan, but they’re great for noting useful ideas that come to mind, things you see or read about, or to journal important events that relate to your message. When it’s time to write, compiling and cleaning up what you’ve already written will expedite the writing process.

One of my favorite times to write an article is while I’m traveling. I use Google Docs on iPhone as my word processor software and the microphone for speech recognition to text. I just talk through my blog post. It’s printed out as text and all I have to do is edit, edit, edit for a quick and polished blog post. You can do this on a desktop as well with the speech recognition add-on for Google Docs.

Express Your Personal Experiences Through Your Content

Personal experiences are most likely easier to write than researched, calculated content. Your past successes and failures can give your audience a great deal of insight into their own future endeavors and can greatly increase your odds of attracting new visitors. Writing reviews on products you’ve personally used can also drive traffic to your website and can be written quickly.

Think of Ideas to Write About Constantly

You should, as frequently as possible, think of new ideas to write about. Many of them won’t make it past your mental drawing board, but if at least one manages to your efforts are successful. External input is also a great way to plan a new piece of content. Use the things you’ve seen, read, or people you’ve met for blogging inspiration. Ideas like these make excellent material that can be written in a hurry.  As well, ask your customer service team what questions they get most often.  Those are great articles to write, the one’s that answer the most-asked questions!

Try to Eliminate as Many Distractions as Possible While Writing

You may not realistically be able to turn off your phone for an hour when you’re getting ready to churn out your pre-planned content. It is highly advisable that you turn off Facebook, Twitter, and write where you feel you are focused.

Using these tips can make the content creation process faster and seemingly effortless. Planning and research are 2 of the most time consuming, tedious parts of internet content writing. By already having a loose plan before your fingers hit the keys, you’ll have a great time advantage.

Everything You Know About Marketing Has Changed Part 2

Everything You Know About Marketing Has Changed Part 2

Everything You Know About Marketing Has Changed Part 2

Marketing used to be simple. You’d craft advertisements for print, billboards or television hoping that customers would respond. You could be a bullhorn and just shout out your information. Now, however, with the dawning of social media and the web, many consumers expect a two-way conversation; consumers are asking questions and expect a response from you!

What’s driven this trend?

The way people spend their time has changed. They’re spending more time on social media, which is a two-way communication. In fact, 1 out of every 5 minutes spent on a mobile phone is spent on Facebook.

Mobile is another huge trend.

There are now more mobile phones than humans on earth. As of the end of 2014, the amount of internet traffic on mobile phones surpassed desktop use. Your potential customers are carrying your advertising delivery system in their pockets at all times. The average Facebook user checks their account an astounding 150 times per day. Consumers are craving instant gratification more than ever; if you make them wait to hear from you, you’ll lose them.

Search engines are taking note of this, too. Because everyone is on mobile, search engines expect your website to be viewable on the devices that people are using. If your website is not mobile-friendly, then you’ll be dinged by the search engines. Make sure your website is mobile responsive so your site can be viewed on all size screens.

Your website is your primary source of contact with your customers.

It’s how people find you. With this in mind, the experience users have on your website is crucial. No matter what device they are using, they expect an easy, readable experience.

You must have a presence where your audience is.

For many of your customers, social media is the place to meet them.

Here are 3 things to consider for modern, two-way marketing:

  • Speed – Today’s consumers demand immediate gratification.
  • Communication – Your consumers want a two-way conversation.
  • Interact on Their Own Terms – Consumers want to interact on their schedule, not yours.

Don’t limit yourself.

Use multiple channels based on where your customers are. Always be aware of opportunities to build a relationship with your audience. Don’t just be on social media, spend time reading posts and comments, then offer conversation that has real value.

Marketing has changed, and if you hope to be successful in marketing, you must adapt.

Simply broadcasting your message to the world is not enough. If you want to bring the right people to your business and convert them into long-term customers, you have to offer more than just a message.

The challenge is clear; will you rise to the occasion?

Improve Your Website Traffic Using Google Analytics

google-analytics

Do you understand your website traffic?

Have a website? Do you know how much traffic it gets?

If you said YES, … Awesome! But have you mastered it? More on that point coming soon in Master Your Google Analytics.

If you said NO, then why not? Your website is the face of your business in today’s digitally advanced world. If your mother was anything like mine, then I bet, more than once, you were told,

“You only get 1 chance to make a good first impression” – Mom

If you have to make a quick decision on who you want to operate on you, what’s the first impression leave you with as to who you want operating?  It may or may not be factual, but the first impression counts!  It counts on the web for sure!

first-impressions_trust

Why wouldn’t want to know how your website is performing? Even if you don’t make a great first impression, you still may be able to win over your potential customer by building trust.

Does your website make a good first impression or are visitors scared and running away!? To answer this question, you need to know how to read and understand your Google Analytic data.

Let’s make sense of that data

data

Let’s take a look at your Google Analytics Dashboard; it will look similar to the image below:

Google Analytics is a FREE service that provides comprehensive statistics regarding website visitors. Data available through this service consists of site visits, page views, bounce rate, average time on site, pages per visit and percentage of new visits.

Google Analytics can track referral traffic including search engine, direct visits, website referrals and marketing campaigns (Pay Per Click, Banner advertising, e-mail marketing, etc.)

Now let’s dig into understanding the Dashboard:

ga 2

Sessions:

A session is a group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. For example, a single session can contain multiple screens or page views, events, social interactions, and/or e-commerce transactions.

sessions

Users:

Users are viewers that have had at least 1 session within the selected date range. This includes both new and returning users.

GA User Analysis

Pageviews:

Pageviews is the total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted.

Pages/Sessions:

Pages/Session (Average Page Depth) is the average number of pages viewed during a session. Repeated views of a single page are counted.

Avg. Session Duration:

Avg. Session Duration is the average length of a Session (a session is 1 visit to the website).

Bounce Rate:

Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page). Lower bounce rates are desired!

bounce

Most website analysts consider a Bounce Rate of 40% or lower ideal! So if your website is within the 40% rule, you know it’s performing well. If your website is above the 40% bounce rate, here are a few things you can do to improve your site:

A month after your website is mobile friendly, easy to navigate (user-friendly), and has images, check your Google Analytics to see if your bounce rate has improved.

% New Sessions:

The % new sessions is a measure of new visitors. (It doesn’t count a person who comes back more than 1x.)

Use this information to improve your website by understanding its traffic!

Understanding the basic metrics of Google Analytics is key to understanding how your website is performing. Because, like I said earlier, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Make sure you take advantage of Google Analytics to develop your digital presence!

If you’d like to learn more and go into advanced uses of Google Analytics or even schedule a workshop on Google Analytics, please let me know by emailing joe@digitalhill.com.