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Web Design, SEO & Social Media How-To's, Helpful Tips and Discounts

By Cynthia Mitchell 18 May, 2017
Cyber security and the growing threats online seem to be mounting by the minute. Protecting your website, computers, data, business and clients is becoming more and more challenging. Still, you can't ignore the issue and leave your business at risk. Here are 4 tips to help you secure your website and computers:

1. ADD AN SSL CERTIFICATE: 
This will enable https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Data becomes encrypted and the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to. This will help visitors feel safer and reduce your risk and liability. It will also help your SEO.

2. BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE: 
Hackers are everywhere. Even well secured sites may fall victim to hacking. Keep a full back up of your website both on your computer and on an external drive. Complete full website backups regularly.

3. KEEP PASSWORDS PROTECTED & UPDATED:
How often are you changing your passwords? Are you sharing sensitive passwords with staff? Are your passwords written down in your office? You need to have complex passwords that are changed regularly for you website, hosting, email, social media, etc. Don't ever share this information unless absolutely necessary. 

4. KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE UP TO DATE: 
Outdated software on your computer can leave you vulnerable. New security patches and fixes are often included in software updates. Be sure all the programs running on your computer are always up to date.

By Cynthia Mitchell 05 May, 2017
So How Does This Work?

To Qualify To Win A Website & Receive A $50 Credit Follow These Steps:

1. Forward this link to at least 5 people.

2. CC (carbon copy) us on the emails you forward (address the carbon copy to cynthia@simplewebsitesfast.com).

3. Look for an email from us with your $50 credit and confirmation that you have been entered to win.

4. Look for the announcement of the winner on Mother's Day (it will be announced via email and it will be posted on our website).

IT'S THAT SIMPLE!!!
By Cynthia Mitchell 15 Dec, 2016
The New Year brings so much change, excitement and reflection. It's a great time to review and evaluate your online marketing and website as well. Sometimes even small changes can make a BIG IMPACT. Here are 3 website musts for 2017:

SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES: Stay up to day with social media trends. New social media sites present themselves all the time. It's important to take advantage of them when there is an opportunity to reach your target market. Expand beyond the standard Facebook & Twitter. You may want to consider Pinterest, Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat and local social sites as additions to your social media marketing strategy. 

RESPONSIVE & MOBILE-FRIENDLY: If your site is not responsive and does not create a mobile friendly user experience, it can cost you clients and ranking. Google does often penalize websites that are not mobile friendly and visitors may have a difficult time navigating your website.

SECURITY FEATURES: Be sure your site is secure for both you and your visitors. If you collect any sensitive information on your website, be sure that you add a secure connection to your website. Also, be sure to add CAPTCHA to your online forms to help protect you from spam and bots. If your direct email address is on your website, you may want to consider removing that as well to help prevent spam and email spoofing. 
By Cynthia Mitchell 12 Jul, 2016
Email marketing should be a strategic part of your overall marketing plan. This does not mean putting an email sign up link on your website is all you need to do and your work is done. If you are not actively collecting, updating and utilizing your email marketing list(s), then you are missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. Most email marketing platforms allow for easy uploading, customization, integration and reporting. Here are 3 reasons why you should use email marketing to help your business grow...

1. STAY TOP OF MIND: This is a great way to remind both past and potential clients what is so great about your business. Staying top of mind is key when it comes to marketing and growing your business. Don't let customers forget about you and why they should do patronize your business.

2. EASILY TARGET MARKET SEGMENTS: With email marketing, you can create specific lists to target different market segments. For example you can  target certain industries, past customers, age groups or gender groups with email marketing by creating specific lists for them. Breaking up your email marketing into segments can help you increase your open and conversion rates. 

3. AFFORDABLE PRICING: Compared to many other types of marketing, email marketing is very affordable. You can e-blast special offers, news or new services and products without spending a fortune. You will increase the value of email marketing even more by utilizing all the features that your email marketing provider offers. Even if you have to pay a firm to help you with your e-blasts, this is still an incredibly affordable and effective way to market your business. 
By Cynthia Mitchell 27 Apr, 2016
We are expanding our current services by offering web design for WIX sites. These sites are very affordable and offer customization, optimization and easy self-management after your site is completed. It is important to us to offer our clients various options to meet the variety of needs they have. We will design your site to be user friendly and marketing focused. E-commerce options are also available. 

Our WIX website packages start at just $400. The websites are fully responsive as well. Feel free to contact us to to learn more about our WIX website packages or to get a free quote. 
By Cynthia Mitchell 29 Mar, 2016
You have probably heard the term CMS website before, but may not know what it means or why it matters. CMS stands for content management system. If well designed, this system can offer business owners a lot of value. In most cases, CMS sites allow relatively easy website maintenance. Breaking the dependency on ALWAYS needing a web designer for every update or change can be quite liberating.  Here are few distinct advantages that come along with a quality CMS website:

SAVINGS ON WEBSITE MAINTENANCE: If you frequently need updates to your website, that can add up over time if you have to pay a web designer for each update. Having the ability to update text and pictures yourself, can save you a lot of money long term.

ALLOWS FOR TIME SENSITIVE UPDATES: If something happens or changes in your business that requires an immediate update, you can often do it yourself.  A new address, out of stock product, or urgent announcement are just a few things that may not be able to wait until your web designer is able to update it for you.

KEEP YOUR CONTENT FRESH: Professional web designers and SEO consultants are definitely worth their weight in gold, but they are not present as an integral part of your business day to day. So you or a designated employee are the perfect person to keep your website up to date with fresh, relevant content. 

Having a CMS site doesn't mean you will or should do it all when it comes to your website.  More complex updates, adding new pages and SEO, probably should be handled by a professional web designer.  Still, being able to have the option to do a bit of self-maintenance is valuable and should be something to carefully consider when you have your website developed. Be sure to ask your designer specifics about the CMS ease of use, capabilities and training. 



By Cynthia Mitchell 18 Dec, 2015
So you know how to sew, but do you give yourself stitches? Probably not, right? In many cases, there are some things you can do on your own depending on your knowledge base and skillset, but if you are serious about optimizing your site and continuously ranking well then using professional SEO services is your best option. Actively working with a professional and staying engaged in the efforts will mostly likely give you optimal results. Your time is usually much better utilized by managing your business and not your SEO. Here are a few things you want to keep in my when it comes to doing SEO right:

1. Make sure you are using an SEO consultant that uses “white hat” methods. Ask your SEO consultant specifics on techniques, current client results and transparency of services rendered. If you are penalized by a search engine for them using less than acceptable techniques, that can be difficult to come back from.

2. Staying up-to-date with industry standards is crucial.   Google constantly updates it’s SEO algorithms so they should also be keeping up with those type of industry changes as well.

3. Stay focused on long-term success.   Never compromise when it comes to doing things the right way, even if it is the hard way or the long way.  You want to always keep Google’s ultimate goal in mind: to stay the number one search engine by serving up the best search engine results. So make sure your website is accurate, content rich, user friendly, up to date and mobile friendly and modernized. Having a truly “quality” website is your best SEO ally!
By Cynthia Mitchell 21 Jul, 2015
So once you have your website optimized properly, you’re done right? Wrong! You’re just getting started. SEO is an ongoing and comprehensive effort that expands beyond one time site optimization. Of course, this part of the process is critical and necessary, but using the proper keywords, content, links and images across all important media platforms is crucial too. Your Facebook Page, Tweets, Blog posts, online listings, etc should all be optimized. Here are some SEO factors you should be considering across the board, whenever they can be applied:

  • Unique, Keyword Relevant Content
  • Consistent Branding
  • Appropriate Links/Link Building (white hat only)
  • Hashtags
  • Frequent Updates

SEO is not one dimensional or passive. Stay in front of the game and be sure you are optimized all over the web, not just on your main website. If you have more questions on how SEO can help your business, call us. We can help. We offer affordable SEO services that actually work!
By Cynthia Mitchell 21 Jul, 2015
Every small business is different so their website and visitors will require different things. Still, there are a few generally universal do's and don'ts that you can use as a guide for getting started with your small business website:

Do Have Some Idea of What You Want | Don't Tell The Designer I'm Leaving It All To You: You don't have to know it all or have every detail completely thought through, but have some idea of what you are looking for as far as budget, features, number of pages and general style. Do some research and check out competitor sites as well (local and non-local). This will help stimulate your thought process and give you ideas of what you do and don't want your website to look and feel like.

Do Listen To The Professionals | Don't Let Them Steamroll You: Once you do a little homework, share you ideas with a few potential designers. Get their professional feedback and quotes on your project. They should be able to give you explanations for all of their suggestions so that you can determine if you agree with them or not. Do not take their experience for granted. Many of their ideas may be very helpful and valuable to you, but make sure your ideas are being heard too. The final decision should always be yours.

Do Set A Reasonable Budget | Don't Be Completely Inflexible With Your Budget: Of course most small business owners do not have unlimited budgets. So setting a budget or price range for your web design is a good idea. It's important to keep in mind though that you may have to adjust your budget based on the complexity of what you want or adding important features like SEO to your website. Paying a bit more and getting a site that is much more attractive and effective is well worth it in the long run.

If you need a free web design or SEO consultation, call us today. We work with small businesses everyday to help them grow their businesses. Our small business websites are affordable, fast and marketing focused. We also offer comprehensive SEO services to ensure that your new website is visible online for the right keywords.
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