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The title sounds a bit complicated, but so is the subject.  You have a growing business, and you’re already spending a lot of your time brainstorming and planning your goals for the future.  You know that a large portion of those goals involves your online presence.  Without an effective online presence, your company won’t continue to grow in today’s market.   But, you are extremely busy, so how do you know what things you can take care of yourself versus which things you should farm out to another employee, subcontractor, agency, or business?

Here are some things to consider when making the important decisions of time management and online presence:

 

  1. It is better to work smarter and not harder
    I’ve seen companies repeat the same work over and over again rather than once-and-done. For example, if you don’t have a transparent logo— and each time you want to use your logo somewhere, you are spending a couple of minutes “cropping out the white space” around it, that’s not a good use of your time. If it’s a task that can be reused, you may want to consider doing it the right way, so it will save time in the future. As for the logo example, if this means hiring someone to make a transparent logo for you, get it done.
  2. Expertise always costs less than doing it yourself
    This seems counterintuitive, but it’s true. If you hire an expert that can knock out the task in a day or less, or perhaps even an hour or less, isn’t that worth far more than the amount of time you’d spend to learn how to do the thing in the first place? You need to consider the value of your time and the amount of time you’ll spend personally on the project. If it’s not something you know exactly how to do, you need to seriously consider hiring someone who knows what they’re doing. You wouldn’t walk into a diner and ask for a lobster, you would go to the seafood restaurant for that. People specialize in certain things for a reason, and everyone wins by allowing each other to showcase their own talents.
  3. The experts have tools that you don’t
    It’s important to understand that the experts often have the equipment that you don’t have. If you wanted to make a t-shirt, you probably wouldn’t want to sit at home and color on a shirt with a paint pen, because it wouldn’t look very professional. You may try to sit around at home and figure out how to work a vinyl cutter or computer program to make the shirt, but that may take hours and still yield results that are slightly off-center. The best thing is to go to someone who has a t-shirt press. Just like a t-shirt factory, web experts have valuable design tools, tools for adding captions and logos to videos, post scheduling tools, and so on. It may not be worth it for you to buy the proper tools if you’re only going to use them sporadically. It’s better to let the experts pay for them and use them for all of their clients, and then everyone benefits.

There are still things that you can do yourself, and fortunately, there are some amazing tools that make that task easier for you (we’ve listed a couple examples below), but above all— you know what you can and cannot do effectively.  If your finished project is not going to be something that will wow your potential clients, you need to hire someone who will. And at the end of the day, wowing your customers is worth its weight in gold.

Online Tools to Try to DIY:

  • Canva — Graphic Design & GIF Creation — http://www.canva.com  free, $12.99 a month pro subscription
  • Magisto — Add your Logo and Caption to Movies, Movie Creation — http://www.magisto.com  $19.99 a month

If you prefer to not DIY, feel free to contact us for the latest and greatest in web design, SEO, and social media services.

For An Extraordinary Web Experience,
Komaya

If you’re a business owner or manager who wants to succeed, you have probably familiarized yourself on SEO and what it means.  Search Engine Optimization is the art of making your site (or sites) pop up when people use various search terms on their search engine of choice (typically Google).   The higher the ranking, the more people that see you.  It’s the modern-day equivalent of having a business named “AAAA Aardvark Company” in the Yellow Pages, it is desirable as a business owner to have your company listed first in a certain category.

SEO Has Changed. Here are a few of our best tips:

What many people don’t know, however, is how exactly SEO works for them, and the logistics that go into it.  An analogy might be the kitchen faucet in your home — we know that it has an on/off mechanism, there’s a spout, perhaps a sprayer, and the water flows out — but we really couldn’t explain to someone else the exact passage of water or what to do if something breaks.  Similarly, we understand that computers help us and we know how to use user-friendly apps, but very few of us know how to take one apart and fix a faulty motherboard, for example.

What makes all of this even more complicated is that SEO, like all things technology, is constantly changing.  What you may have learned in a class or seminar two years ago may not hold true anymore.   Additionally, because more people know what SEO is (and there are more user-friendly apps available for people to master it), the competition is growing fiercer. At Komaya, we are always here to help you master SEO and make your business as successful as possible, so here are a few of our best tips to make your SEO stand out:

  1. Try a plug-in, like Yoast:
    If you use WordPress, there’s a free plugin called Yoast that basically functions like a “spell-checker”, except that it checks for readability and SEO. You can enter in your article, blog, or web content, and let it know what the target keywords are. Yoast will analyze the piece and provide scores on a few specific categories, as well as what you can do to improve the piece. It’s an SEO game changer.
  2. Use apps that analyze your competitors, suggest keywords for you, and give you an action plan:
    Apps like Keyword Finder (https://KWFinder.com) will analyze keywords and find words for you that you can easily rank for, as well as keywords that your competitors are missing.
    That’s just one example. There are a lot of sites out there that will analyze keywords for you, recommend them on a weekly basis, and even remember which keywords worked well for you at certain times of the year so you can go back to them for repeat business. They will even identify where there is a hole in the market based on the keywords your competitors are using, versus what consumers are actually searching for.
  3. Make your website as optimized as possible:
    For starters, if your website hasn’t been updated since 2012, there is little chance that it will rank over a site that was updated yesterday.  Keeping your content fresh and constantly changing is the number one thing that is necessary for website optimization.  You also need keywords that people would actually type into a search bar. There’s a difference between describing your item and optimizing your item’s description for search engines.
    If you sell hand-knitted sweaters that come in three colors and are made in Maine out of organic materials, your keywords should be “red organic sweater”, or “blue handmade sweater”, or “organic hand-made sweaters” and not “hand-knitted sweater Maine three colors”  because no one is searching for that, they just want a sweater.   You’ll also have a great deal of luck by making several pages with different titles and meta descriptions, as opposed to trying to put as many words as possible on one page.

We haven’t even begun to cover the ways your keywords, titles and meta titles, descriptions, SERP, and the way your page is searched and crawled, but that will be information in a forthcoming blog.

With all of that said, this can definitely be a confusing or overwhelming topic, but at Komaya we are here to help. Contact us today to get a consultation on your brand and what we can do for you.

A solid website is one of the most important, if not the most important, assets to a company.  Regardless of the size and strength of the business, everyone needs a website whether they’re a child selling hair ties or socks out of their parents’ basement, to a Fortune 500 tech company. Unfortunately, not everyone knows the proper way to set up an efficient website.  Here are some of the top website mistakes almost every company makes, so you can avoid them on your next web redesign:

Top website mistakes almost every company makes:

  1.   Having A Website That’s Too Cluttered or Too Confusing — How many times have you gone to a website to find a very specific piece of information only to give up after twenty minutes of frustration from not being able to find what you were looking for?  Chances are you probably googled it and found a competitor that had the answer you were looking for.  If someone feels like they’re a secret agent trying to get into mission control when all they’re doing is looking for your hours of operation or price points, this is a sign that you need a new web design.
  2. Not Knowing Enough about SEO and What It Can Do for You — SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, has become a really hot topic lately, especially for companies that try to sell you web design services.  Unfortunately, not a lot of people actually know how SEO really works.  It’s up to you to make sure you’ve maximized your search terms, keywords, titles, and meta-titles on every single page of your website, or that you can find someone who can.  At Komaya, this is absolutely something we can help you with, so if you get stuck, don’t hesitate to contact us.
  3. Not Having a Clear Call-To-Action or Way to Buy — Someone can come to your website and think you’re the bee’s knees, but that doesn’t mean anything unless there’s a clear call to action or way for them to buy your products or services right there, on the spot.  People are often impulsive buyers and will talk themselves out of a purchase if they have time to think about what else they can do with those finances.   If you sell goods and services, there needs to be an extremely prominent way for people to add to their cart on the main page, and if you have a different type of service, there needs to be a clear call to action (follow us, join today, etc.) in an equally prominent place.
  4. Not Encouraging Interaction from Clients and Consumers —  Chat rooms can be a really good call as they allow consumers to interact directly with the “powers that be” of a company, and it really makes people feel like their voices and suggestions are heard.   Forums are also a really nice way for people to be able to leave their thoughts and opinions on a product.  You’ll receive a couple of bonuses for doing this as well.  For starters, you’ll receive free feedback on your product (without having to pay for testing or a consumer panel).  Additionally, if people start to interact with other consumers within a forum space, you’ll find that they check in more often on your site for follow up responses.
  5. Not Capturing Information from the Customer to Continue to Follow Up — Speaking of follow up, one of the biggest mistakes you can make in any business model is not following up with your consumers.   A lot of times, someone will check out on a business website and enter their credit card information, receive their package, and never hear from the company again.  You’ll want to make sure to record customer information for future use.  You can also have a subscription box on your homepage that someone can use to fill out their name, e-mail address, and possibly even a phone number to sign up for some kind of freebie (or discount code) that you have decided on in advance.  This way, you’ll be able to subscribe them to your offers, and mailing list, and you may even be able to send them a survey asking for feedback on your new and improved website.

 

In 2017, one report by Deloitte, according to Forbes magazine, found that 47% of all Millennials said that their purchase decisions were influenced by social media. Additionally, customers who include social media as part of their shopping process are four times more likely to spend money on purchases, and 29% more likely to be impulse buyers when using social media for purchasing decisions.

The ODM group lists the number much higher, at around 74% of consumers affected by social media to inform their purchasing decisions.

Regardless of the exact statistics or study that you choose to follow, it is obvious that it has become more important than ever for companies to get on the social media bandwagon.  Because it’s always important to know the how and why of anything, we have taken a look at why this is happening.

Why is social media changing buying decisions? Here are a few possible reasons to consider:

  1. Social Media allows you to read reviews from people you know — Anyone can go on a review site like Yelp and read and write reviews for popular businesses in your area.  However, social media allows you to read reviews from people you know. This makes a review much more potent because not only do you know that it’s a real person who left it, but you know the person, so you have an idea of how credible the person is.  It also shows you mutual friends in common with the reviewer, so even if the reviewer is not someone you know you’ll be able to see the mutual connections that may link you to that person.
  2. Social Media allows you to ask opinions of hundreds of people at the same time — It was one thing to call (or text) your friends or relatives to get an opinion on the best dry cleaner or dentist in town, but now you can literally post a status update that will reach your entire friend list within seconds. It makes acquiring business recommendations extremely easy (especially with Facebook’s new “recommendations” feature that will even lay them out for you on a map of your area).
  3. Social Media allows you to communicate with the actual brains behind a brand — Everyone was shocked when they joined MySpace and instantly became “friends” with MySpace creator, Tom.  Now, social media allows you to communicate with actual CEOs of major corporations.  You can tweet or retweet the founder of your favorite company, and you might even get a response!
  4. Social Media is completely interactive —  You can also interact with your favorite brands on a daily basis.  Twenty years ago, you could drop your business card in a fishbowl and maybe you’d win a prize, but other than that— you probably didn’t have much interaction with certain businesses.  Now, you can enter contests and comment on photographs that are appealing to you.  You can even engage with other customers about certain products and your mutual likes and dislikes.

Engaging Social Media

Today’s business is built on awareness, trust, and confidence. It’s important to be present with and responsive to your clients.  Social media is an increasingly important way for businesses to connect with people. It plays a significant role in purchasing decisions, and many people prefer to use social media to communicate with a business. With all of that said, it is so important that your social media remain engaging, as well as consistently updated. Having a social media plan should be an integral part of your marketing strategy to build your web presence.

I have a holistic healer and she often reminds me that I need balance in my life.  In her eyes, it wouldn’t do me any good to eat terribly and then just scarf down antacids, or to work out every single day only to eat piles of junk food.  It’s much better to do everything in moderation, develop healthy diet and exercise habits that I can maintain every day, and also to do yoga and spiritual growth exercises that make me happy.  Plus, time with friends and family is ideal, and everyone needs to curl up in a blanket, watch a movie, and hit the recharge button every now and again. Being holistic is really just about being whole — it’s focusing on the entire picture and not just on what is going wrong or right.

A Holistic Approach

The same is true for your web presence.  At Komaya, we see a lot of companies that want to hit social media really hard or run a really strong Facebook ad.  We sometimes see CEOs that think blogging with keywords is the way to go or would bet money that their SEO strategy is the best in the country.  The problem sometimes with tunnel vision is that you can often lose sight of the bigger picture.  You can also end up focusing so much on one thing that you have to work really hard in the future to right a different wrong.  Back to our health and wellness example, rather than eating 12 doughnuts and having to hit the gym twice as hard the following day, wouldn’t it just be better to only eat one doughnut and go to the gym for a half of an hour in the first place?

When you’re working on your web presence, and the strategy for it, you need to remember that a holistic approach is always the best one.

By taking a step back and looking at the larger picture, your business will be healthier overall.  We like to remind clients to do this by concentrating on SEO, website, and social media.   In the long run, these things will all feed one another as well, and they need each other for long-term success.

As another true-life example, let’s look at it this way.  Let’s suppose you wanted to buy a very specific kind of potato chip dip and you needed it for a party tonight.  You probably would first go to social media, and ask if anyone knows of any recommendations (because after all, you’re not really sure what it’s called or what you’re looking for).  Someone probably tells you that the brand is called Best Dip.  You then might go to Google (or another search engine) and type in “brand + potato chips + your zip code” or something similar.  The search results say that Star Mart has your product.  You then go to the Star Mart website, you see via their online catalog that the product is there, and then you use maps to find out exactly where that store is.    You may even revert back to social media to ask if anyone has any tips on how to get there exactly or where you can find street parking.

The point of the above story is that in this case if there wasn’t a social media listing for Star Mart or Best Dip, you would have been out of luck.  If Star Mart hadn’t used the keywords Best Dip + potato chip + some relevant zip codes, you would not have known they sold your product.  And had there not been a maps or Yellow Pages listing, you might not have found the store.    Everything works together, and it is vital that you have a combination of all of the things to make your brand successful.

A Powerful Web Presence

Without social media, you’re unable to receive real-life reviews of your product, and you’re also unable to communicate or interact with your customers.   Without a website, you’re unable to sell your product (because people can’t truly buy via social media).  Without SEO, you’re unable to let people find your product.  Without blogging, you’re unable to explain your product.  And without all of these things, working together in perfect harmony, your product has a much lower chance of success.

For more information on creating a holistic and powerful web presence and how best to achieve it, contact us today.