How to Evaluate a New Logo Design 1

How to Evaluate a New Logo Design

Your logo is one of the most important elements of your brand communication. Choosing the right logo that best represents your brand can be confusing and frustrating. It’s always sad when I meet business owners who are having difficulty because their logos weren’t created well.

Poorly designed logos can be the result of two things: 1) the graphic designer didn’t have the knowledge to design a professional logo, or 2) the business owners insisted on a concept without fully understanding the impact. This article is for the business owner who hopefully has hired a professional logo designer. Read more

What You Need to Know About Hosts 2

What You Need to Know About Hosts

In the past twenty years, I’ve seen good web hosts and bad web hosts. At some point, even the best of web hosts can have problems. After all, they are computers (problem #1) being managed by humans (problem #2). The key difference between a good and a bad web host boils down to two main issues: ease of use and customer support.

Some interfaces may seem obvious to geeks, but the rest of us are fumbling around trying to understand the vocabulary and find the right button to click. In addition, if I do need help because a website is having issues or I can’t figure out how to do “X”, I want support to be available quickly. Maybe I have high standards, but I also want my support to be friendly, easy-to-understand, and extra helpful. Oh, and honest. Yes, I’ve had hosting company support staff actually lie to me. More than once, sadly. Read more

What You Need to Know About Domains 3

What You Need to Know About Domains

Many people have questions about domain names and web hosts. Today I start a series of posts to answer the questions most often asked.

Domains

Your domain name is what people type into their browser to find your website. It is not your actual website but rather points people to the location where your website files are stored. Your domain name can also be used for your email accounts.

Because domain names are so important, you must register your domain name through an approved domain name registrar, like GoDaddy. Each year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will ask you to confirm the contact information in your domain registration is accurate and up-to-date. Read more

How to Use E-Signatures 4

How to Use E-Signatures

While the concept of using technology for a legal signature isn’t new (morse code was the first), a growing number of businesses and organizations are looking for a way to quickly obtain a legal signature without requiring you to be physically present.

Electronic Signatures Overview

Regulations for digital signatures may vary by location, but essentially the requirements are: Read more

Hacked! Prevention & Recovery 5

Hacked! Prevention & Recovery

If you own a website, the chances of being hacked are real. It happens to big companies as well as small, and most likely you’ve already been affected by a hack. As they say, there are two types of consumers: those who’ve been hacked and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked.

As a website owner, a hacked website means lost revenue and even worse, loss of customer trust. This article will help you know how to protect your site from hackers and if you do get hacked, critical steps you’ll need to take to recover. Read more

Who *Really* Owns Your Website? 6

Who *Really* Owns Your Website?

You’re way too busy running your business and in a rush to get your website up. Since you’re not very tech savvy and you’re preoccupied with your own work, you trust your developer to get your domain registered and get your site set up on a good host. It’s a very normal to leave it to your web tech to handle these tasks. I’ve done it myself for many of my clients. Perhaps I even did it for you.

In the early days of the web (I remember them well), it might have made sense. The internet was as ethereal as space exploration and only a few people knew how to navigate. I remember creating websites for business owners who had never used email. I even helped a couple people learn how to use a mouse.

These days, we’re much more comfortable with computers and most have at least a fair idea of how the internet works. Still, many still don’t understand the basics of website ownership. If you’re one of them, I’m about to enlighten you. Why is it important that you learn a bit of geek? Because you may be in a highly vulnerable position and not actually own your website. Read more

Top 10 Email Marketing Platforms 7

Top 10 Email Marketing Platforms

Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective tactics in digital marketing. There are a number of platforms to select from (and new ones popping up every day), making it difficult to figure out which platform is best for you.  While all platforms have pre-made templates so you won’t need to hire a developer to create a custom HTML template, but beyond that, their features can widely differ. Some of these options include free accounts, drip campaigns, integration with CRMs, drag and drop, etc. We’ve curated the top ten email marketing platforms for you to help you find the best fit for your needs and strategy. Read more

Proper Care & Feeding of Your WordPress Website 8

Proper Care & Feeding of Your WordPress Website

Your website is like your pet—it needs continued care and maintenance. Website content updates (the new posts, text, photos, events, etc, that you do regularly) will help keep site visitors and search engines happy. Yet content updates aren’t the same as technical care and updates. Technical updates are essential for a healthy, fully functioning website. Your website is built on thousands (and thousands and thousands) of lines of code. Even with regular maintenance and updates, you may still experience glitches.

Even if you’re a technophobe, I beg you not to glaze over the following information. If you own a website, you need to be a responsible website owner.

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SEO & Integrity

First rule for effective SEO: Don’t panic!

Many small business owners, upon learning of the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), immediately leap into a frenzied state for which they’ll fork over money to anyone who promises to handle this mysterious, internet success and online life-threatening mandate for them. If you’re freaking out, trust me—someone out there is eagerly waiting to sell you some snake oil.

Breathe…breathe…

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Don’t Try to Reason with your Customers

As a small business owner, you need to accept what sales and marketing professionals have always known: people make decisions based on emotions. In today’s world, we have the studies in neuroscience and consumer behavior to prove it. Big corporations use this knowledge to lure customers away from you but if selling is a game, you have home field advantage. You can provide vital, emotional connections that big chains can only dream about.

We like to think of ourselves as rational, intelligent beings but when it comes to making buying decisions, the reasoning mind simply can’t perform. In Antonio Damasio’s book Descartes Error, he shares his studies on measuring the connections between thinking and emotions. When presented all the facts necessary for making a decision, people were unable to make a choice when they couldn’t access how they felt about the options. In short, your marketing should engage your customers’ dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Read more