The Number One Question I am Asked for Website Design

website designer

During the onboarding process of a new website, every client has concerns. However, when we are discussing website design options, I almost always receive the same question:

Will I be able to make edits to the website?

The answer is yes!

In 2016, Ben Pines created a WordPress plugin called Elementor. This design program has put a new competitive edge with Wix and Squarespace. The reason that more people are attracted to Wix and Squarespace is the page builder features. Elementor provides similar functionalities with the SEO benefits of a WordPress platform and advanced customization that other platforms do not provide.

I am using Elementor to build business websites for customers who want to adjust text or photos after the website is launched. However, you should always use a designer for new pages and reformatting.

Please email me with other questions!

WP Staging is a Life Saver for Website Design!

Website design Plugins

If any of you are website designers, you have probably experienced the complexities of website migration. For the majority of my website development career, I have relied on Backup Buddy to help migrate my websites. The scary thing about Backup Buddy, and other migration plugins such as All-In-One WP Migration and WordPress Duplicator, is you are deleting the entire site to upload a new WordPress site.

*Enter Paranoia.* 

Nevertheless, Backup Buddy is more reliable and quicker than manual migration which can take hours and leaves more room for error. Every time I do a website migration, I feel a little yank at my nerve endings until recently…

*Enter WP Staging*

If unicorns created a staging plugin, it would be WP Staging. The plugin allows you to duplicate your website creating an entirely new WordPress database at the click of the button. The features are perfect for a website redesign.

The first step is to choose a URL extension. For example, you can choose /dev/ so your website would be example.com/dev/.

After choosing your extension, the plugin will copy over your pages, media, posts, plugins, and theme files. It will be an exact replication of your website. From there, you can wipe your testing website and start from scratch or just make basic edits.

When you are ready to push your edits live, there is a Pro version of WP Staging for $98. Sounds steep? The ease of the plugin is worth the cost. Additionally, you will have to purchase any high-quality migration plugin. The only free method is manual.

When I Use WP Staging for Website Design

WP Staging is not ideal for every development situation. I use WP Staging when I am performing a WordPress redesign. For example, the client has an outdated website and wants to revamp the site. This could entail a new theme or simpler requests, such as photos, colors, and text. I use WP Staging to duplicate their existing site, perform the redesign, and push the website live.

If you are a WordPress website designer searching for an easy method to redesign and launch websites, I suggest reviewing WP Staging. Please see this video created by WP Staging for more information:

 

If you need a website designer in Bend, Oregon, contact Get Global Marketing. We create websites with a high ROI so you can focus on building your business. Contact us in Bend or Redmond, Oregon at (541)706-9442.

 

WordPress Versus Wix: Which Should I Use?

wix versus wordpress

In every industry, there are different ways of completing a job. The same story is true for website development. WordPress and Wix are two main competitors in the website world. Business owners that do not know the difference, often use a certain platform without knowing the differences. It is important to know they difference between WordPress and Wix, and what your developer is using.

As a WordPress website developer, I am of course slightly biased! However, this article is my most honest representation of both platforms and what they can do for you.

Features of Wix versus WordPress

 

Feature Wix WordPress
Custom Colors and Font X X
Multiple Pages X X
Blog Capabilities X X
Mobile Optimization X X
Visual Editor X X
Page Builder X X
Free Website Option X X
Drag and Drop X
Pre-Built Themes Hundreds Thousands
Plugins and Apps 200+ 55,000+
Ecommerce X X

The Major Deciding Factors

You Are Building the Website Yourself

Many business owners want to build their website themselves. In this situation, it is important to have drag and drop features. Wix offers pre-built themes to drop written content and photos into boxes. Be aware that many Wix websites have the reputation for looking alike.

If you want your website to stand out, you need to build a customized WordPress website. However, it will take more effort. WordPress includes page builders, such as WPBakery, which is a front end visual designer.

You Want to Customize Your Website

The customization features in Wix are limited. WordPress provides thousands of plugins and apps to create a beautiful, functional website that stands out among competitors.

The plugins include event calendars, ecommerce layout and billing, creative portfolios, and more. As a website developer, I have been able to provide clients customized design and features using WordPress plugins.

You Want a Free Option

Both WordPress and Wix have free options. When you choose the free options, the domain of your website ends with either wix.com or wordpress.com.

For example, getglobalmarketing.wordpress.com.

However, free Wix websites also include Wix ads. This appears very unprofessional and low budget for a business. If you are looking for a free option, choose WordPress.

You Are Willing to Pay for Hosting

WordPress and Wix offer hosting options to upgrade your website. WordPress is a CSS platform that offers hosting through many companies online. You can either use a free or dynamic premium WordPress template. Bluehost and HostGator are two of the top WordPress hosting companies.

Packages vary depending on the bandwidth, domain privacy, and spam protection. I build my websites on Bluehost. WordPress packages start at $3.95 for 50GB of website space and unlimited subdomains. The Choice Plus package is perfect for ecommerce websites. At $5.95 per month, Choice Plus includes unmetered website space, domain privacy, unlimited subdomains, spam protection, and more.

Wix packages are bought through the Wix website. Pricing starts at $11 per month for only 2 GB of bandwidth. Ecommerce websites must pay at least $20 per month to accept credit cards.

After evaluating WordPress versus Wix, I think they both have their time and place. If you love wasting money than go with Wix! Just kidding… sort of.

If you want to build a website yourself and do not mind ads than Wix is the website platform for you. The drag and drop feature will allow you to build your own site. If you are paying a professional, make sure that they are WordPress website developers! They can provide you with more customizations, templates, SEO optimization, and more affordable, effective hosting.

I apologize if I am offending the Wix professionals in the website world! However, this is my truth and I am sticking to it. If you need a beautiful, WordPress website, contact me, Gillian Rowley at gillian@getglobalmarketing.com or (541) 706-9442.

How-To Add Value To Your Business

adding value to business

Adding value to your business is essential. I am sure that you have heard it before.
When I started my business, adding value seemed like a mystery.

What is that? Where do I start?

After trial and error, I found what successfully adds value to my business. This article explains a few tricks that worked for me. If you are searching for ways to add value, I suggest trying these techniques.

Respond to Calls, Texts, and Emails ASAP

Strong communication skills are necessary in every relationship. If you aren’t responding within 24 hours you could be severely hurting your business. Your clients should be a priority. Prompt communication is one of the best ways to ensure clients that they are important.

Increase Speed of Production

One of the reasons that I left my previous company was that everything took FOREVER to get done! It was extremely frustrating. After experiencing slow performance, I made it a priority to produce websites within one to two months.

If you are increasing your production speed, you can also get more work done which leads to increased revenue.

Offer Discounts and Rewards

Discounts can come in many forms. If you are an ecommerce company, you might choose to send seasonal coupons through email. Coffee shops often use punch cards.

I provide a $100 reward for current clients who provide a referral that totals over $1,500 in revenue, and a $50 reward for over $1,000. I also provide free SEO audits to potential clients.

Improve the Quality of Your Product

If you want to be a high-quality business, provide a high-quality product. Don’t skip corners.

As a website developer, I try to build the highest quality websites as possible. I also make sure that my clients are 100% satisfied before I complete the job.

Make sure that your clients are happy. Pay attention to your reviews on social media and Google, and provide feedback. Customers occasionally improve reviews if you put in an effort to solve the problem.

Keep Your Technical Skills Up-To-Date

Technology is always advancing. Don’t let yourself get out-of-date.

One of the best examples for every business is responsive design websites. Responsive design websites fit to your mobile device. If you have not yet built a website that is compatible with phones and tablets, you could be missing out on business.

As a website developer, I require the knowledge to convert websites to be compatible with mobile devices.

Adding value is essential when you map your way to business success. Determine your business goals to get started. Contact Get Global Marketing for help with your online marketing.

Why You Need SSL Security on Your Website

SSL certificate

Websites are hacked every day. Most of us assume that won’t happen to us.

Well guess what… the other guys did not think their websites would get hacked either!

Security precautions can be taken to block hackers. Every website should be secured with an SSL certificate.

SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” and is a form of security for sites that handle sensitive information such as customer names, phone numbers, addresses and credit card numbers. It creates a secure connection between the customers browser and the server. An SSL certificate is essential for ecommerce companies.

As a website developer, I secure all of my websites with an SSL certificate. Most of my websites are hosted by Bluehost. A security service allows you to apply the SSL certificate within the CPanel. Your SSL certificate is easy to set-up. Web developers can upgrade the account for subdomain protection.

How Can I Tell If the Website I am Visiting Is Secure?

Checking your web security is simple. The most obvious method is looking at the URL of the website. A green padlock is displayed when a website is secure. The website will also say HTTPS instead of HTTP.

HTTPS is the acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is the protocol for secure communication over the computer network. HTTPS ensures that the website data is encrypted.

Chrome will be making more obvious alerts for internet users beginning in July 2018. Over 55% of internet users use Chrome. Now Chrome is labeling websites “secure” or “not secure” on the search bar of the domain. Many internet security software programs like SiteAdvisor will provide warnings for websites that do not have the “secure” tag.

What Are the Benefits of an SSL Certificate?

Encrypts Information

You should know why SSL certificates exist if you own a website.

Picture a website like your home. An SSL certificate is like a door lock. You lock the door to keep your family and belongings secure. You lock your website to ensure that hackers do not break into your database.

Your SSL certificate encrypts sensitive information. This include credit card numbers, addresses, names, usernames, and passwords. Only you and the server are able to understand the information. It will be unreadable to a hacker and identity thief. SSL certificates are essential for ecommerce companies.

Improves Customer Trust

Identity theft can be a nightmare! A thief can ruin your credit, take out loans, and steal your social security number. Online purchases make it easier for someone to steal your identity. A secure website is protected from hackers, therefore earns more customer trust.

84% of people will abandon a transaction if the website is not secure. Your company loses revenue with a website development error that is a simple fix. Every website that I develop is protected with an SSL certificate.

Good for SEO

HTTPS is essential for website security. However, a secure website can also be good for SEO.
As an online marketer, I provide SEO services in Bend, Oregon. Creating a secure website is one of the primary responsibilities on my SEO checklist.

Beginning is July 2018, Google will mark all websites that are HTTP as “not secure”. This will hurt the rankings of those websites. Secure websites will get more traffic which is essential for to increase rankings on search engines.

  • Over 68% of Chrome traffic on both Android and Windows is now protected
  • Over 78% of Chrome traffic on both Chrome OS and Mac is now protected
  • 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default

Speak with your website developer about securing your website with HTTPS and SSL. Get Global Marketing develops secure websites in Bend, Oregon. Contact us today to revamp or build a new website.

How-To Create a Homepage that Converts

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Often, your website will be your client’s first impression of your business. If this is the case, you need to depict the crucial information that turns visitors into leads.

A great homepage can be the most valuable page on your website. It is often the first page that people see. If you are building your website, then you should make sure that your website has a great homepage that creates conversions.

Include the following tools in your homepage to build a beautiful website that visitors will LOVE to use:

Headline

Your website should indicate its purpose within the first three seconds. An effective headline can tell your visitors what you can do for them. Often, the headline will be put on your website’s banner.

Creating a headline can be one of my least favorite things about creating a website. How do I summarize a business in only a few words? If you are brainstorming headlines, keep in mind a few key points that can create a great headline.

Characteristics of a Great Headline

  • Clear
  • Simple
  • 10 words or less

The best headlines are short and simple. For example, Dropbox uses the headline “Securely share, sync, and collaborate.” Dropbox’s precise headline refers to exactly what their product accomplishes for customers.

Subheadline

Your headline should be followed by a descriptive subheadline. Your subheadline should be a brief description of what you offer.

A great example of a headline is with Evernote. The cloud based software allows you to record important ideas and information from anywhere that you have your digital device.

Evernote’s subheadline is as follows:
“Inspiration strikes anywhere. Evernote lets you capture, nurture, and share your ideas across any device.”

Notice that Evernote uses three action words: capture, nurture, and share. The engaging three step process creates a visualization for readers. Evernote followed their subheadline with a sign-up form.

Primary Calls-to-Action

The whole point of your website is to create conversions. For some of you, that could be a download, sign-up, or order form. An accessible call-to-action can determine whether or not your visitors convert.

Your homepage should have 2-3 call-to-actions. I suggest that the first be under your subheadline. Evernote adds a signup form with “sign up for free” as the call-to-action.

Feeling stumped on your call-to-action? Try one of these popular quotes:

  • Learn More
  • Contact Us
  • Get Started Today

Supporting Image

Words keep us engaged. Visuals capture us initially. You need emotion provoking images to keep people engaged with your website.

The most important image on your homepage is the banner. It’s usually the first image we see. Great banners can increase the likelihood that your visitor will scroll down on your website.

As a website designer, I know that most of my clients do not come to me with images. In these instances, I use stock photos. There are many websites to find tasteful stock photos.

Services

There is very little point to a website if you do not depict your business’ services. I always summarize my client’s services with bullet points and a corresponding image. Sometimes, the image is as simple as an icon.

Listing your services provides a great opportunity for a call-to-action, such as “learn more”.

Social Proof

Social proof is a powerful indicator of trust. Add your social media buttons to your websites to promote your brand. The powerful trust seal will show how your audience reacts to your business every day.

Popular Social Media Marketing Platforms

Navigation

There are many types of website conversions. As an online marketer, I always keep the goal of a bounce rate below 30%. Easy navigation helps me keep the bounce rate low.

If you don’t know what a bounce rate is then let me clarify. The bounce rate is the number of people that leave your website after only visiting one page. My goal is for each user to visit at least three pages.

I create convenient navigation through top menus, sidebars, and footers. The diversity provides many facets for users to access other pages. All of my websites are designed with a primary top menu and footer.

Testimonials

As a child, did you ever fight over who was going first?

It’s the same with a new business. When we are spending large amounts of money, we want to make sure that others have been happy with the company’s product.

Testimonials on your homepage can assure potential customers that your product is high quality.

Link to Blog

To generate even more leads, offer content that can help their business. I do this by keeping a blog. My blog offers tips on the leading trends, business productivity, and news on Get Global Marketing. Each article is written for my targeted audience.

The websites that I design have the blogs linked to the homepage. Some of my clients choose to include videos, infographics, or articles. Visitors can access your blog posts from your website’s homepage.

When I visit a website, I usually notice the homepage first. If you are building a new website or revamping your old, make sure that your website developer includes the essential tools that can earn you conversions.

Top 6 Reasons to Maintain a Blog on Your Website

Many of my marketing clients doubt whether a blog is worth the time and money. After all, as business owners, we are trying to eliminate extra costs. As a marketer, I know blogs should not be ignored! A blog can be one of the most important things you do for your online marketing.

Do you have doubts of the importance of a blog? These are 6 of the most important reasons to have a blog on your website:

1. Increases Your Website Rankings

At some point, most of us have searched for tips or advice online. Your blog can include tips, videos, how-to articles, and other valuable information. The content makes you a gateway for helpful information in your field.

As the content of your website becomes more valuable, people will spend more time on your website. Google translates increased traffic as a more valuable website. Eventually, your rankings on Google increase.

My goals is to increase my client’s marketing to page one on Google search engine result page (SEPRS). According to Search Engine Watch, the first page on Google receives 33% of traffic. The second page receives 18% of traffic. Your blog is a valuable resource to increase your website rankings.

2. Blogs Help Turn Traffic Into Leads

I use new content as an opportunity for conversion. This can be done by including a call-to-action on each post. Your call-to-action can keep people engaged with your business after they have left your website.

Examples of Call-to-Actions

  • Free E-Book
  • Email Newsletter
  • Content Downloads
  • Contact Form

3. You Will Become More Knowledgeable of Your Field

I have never written a blog article without researching the topic online. My research teaches me current trends to improve my marketing and website development skills.

To be successful, it is important that you stay up-to-date with current trends in your field. You can provide a better product for your clients.

Information that You Can Learn Through Writing Blogs

  • Statistics
  • Demographics
  • Industry Leading Facts
  • High Quality Tips
  • Current Industry Trends

4. Your Website Will Get More Traffic Through Social Sharing

Most people have a social media account that they check every day. According to Brandwatch, 3.17 billion users. Of the 3.17 billion users, 2.3 billion are active on social media. This means that your social website has the potential to reach billions of people every day. 91% of retail business have at least 2 social accounts. Sharing your blog posts on social media is an instant link to your website.

Popular Social Media Platforms

  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

5. You Have Interesting Content for Email Marketing

Many successful business owners choose to use email marketing. An email is fast, efficient, and you can ensure that your customer receives all of the information that they need to make an informed decision. To make people read your emails, you will need to include interesting information. Many marketers do this with photos, videos, and blog articles. Your blog article will be linked to the email. A successful email campaign can be great for your SEO.

Benefits of Sharing Blog on Email

  • Increase Website Traffic
  • Share Helpful Information
  • Increase Conversions

6. Show Your Customers You Care

Blogs take time. You have to research, read, and write a valuable article. If you don’t want to write the article, you have to pay someone else. A blog is not for the faint at heart.

Most business owners do not provide valuable blogs. The rare business owners that do are educators. If you take the time to be a great teacher, you can earn respect from potential clients.

If you do not have a blog on your website then you should consider the benefits! There are many valuable forms of articles that you can add. If you are just getting started with your blog then I suggest brainstorming the following content pieces that could benefit your customers:

What to Include In Your Blog

  • Tips and How-To Articles
  • Informational Videos
  • Company News and Event
  • Latest Trends

Need to revamp your marketing? Add a blog! There is endless potential to a blog. You can add interesting videos, articles, and photos. Add a blog and you could change the way you do business.

The Importance of Using Schema Markup on Your Website

Google is the neediest relationship that I have. First, Google appreciates keywords, but now he wants links, content, and social media to notice my website.

What’s next in this relationship? Unfortunately, we can’t say!

In the meantime, there are technical SEO tools that are essential to boosting your rankings. One of these tools is schema markup. Schema tells Google exactly what your business does through coding. You are able to categorize your business and identify important information.

If you do not use schema markup than you are not alone. In 2013, only .3% of websites had schema on their websites.
My goal of this article if to explain how schema works so you, or your website developer, can add schema to your website. If you do it right, you can boost your rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Schema Format

I want to take a brief moment to explain schema format so you know how it works.

First, let me show you an example of schema markup. The following is the Address Markup from Schema.org;

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Person”>

<span itemprop=”name”>Jane Doe</span>

<img src=”janedoe.jpg” itemprop=”image” alt=”Photo of Jane Joe”/>

<span itemprop=”jobTitle”>Professor</span>

<div itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>

<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>

20341 Whitworth Institute

405 N. Whitworth

</span>

<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Seattle</span>,

<span itemprop=”addressRegion”>WA</span>

<span itemprop=”postalCode”>98052</span>

</div>

<span itemprop=”telephone”>(425) 123-4567</span>

<a href=”mailto:jane-doe@xyz.edu” itemprop=”email”>

jane-doe@xyz.edu</a>

Jane’s home page:

<a href=”http://www.janedoe.com” itemprop=”url”>janedoe.com</a>

Graduate students:

<a href=”http://www.xyz.edu/students/alicejones.html” itemprop=”colleague”>

Alice Jones</a>

<a href=”http://www.xyz.edu/students/bobsmith.html” itemprop=”colleague”>

Bob Smith</a>

</div>

Schema is separated by <div>. This tells Google where the schema category starts and begins. Without <div> tags, Google might conceptualize that the phone number is part of the postal address.

The ‘itemprop’ identifies the piece of information. For example;

<span itemprop=”telephone”>(425) 123-4567</span>

The ‘itemprop’ tells Google that the schema is a telephone number. Schema’s ‘itemprop’ is specific to the category that you are tagging.

If you have never developed a website than this will coding could look very foreign! I suggest speaking with your website developer to add schema to your web pages.

Geographic and Contact Markup

Geographic markup is essential for all service oriented companies. Geographic markup includes your business location, phone number, fax, email, and Google map. Your geographic markup can be anywhere that you have contact information listed. I primarily insert geographic markup on the contact page, footer, and home page.

The following is an example of geographic markup for Get Global Marketing;

 

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Marketing”>

<span itemprop=”name”>Get Global Marketing</span>

<div itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>

<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>1531 NW Juniper st #4</span>

<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Bend</span>, <span itemprop=”addressRegion”>OR</span>

<span itemprop=”postalCode”>97703</span>

</div> Phone: <span itemprop=”telephone”>541-550-2713</span>

<a href=”http://googlemapsurl.com” itemprop=”maps”>URL of Map</a> </div>

Review Markup

Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most valuable methods to gain new clients. You can increase the valuable word-of-mouth marketing that you need with reviews and testimonials. When you do, it is important to emphasize those reviews on your website.

Review schema can be used increase the exposure to testimonials on your website.

 

This is an example of a review markup from schema.org;

<div itemprop=”review” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Review”>

<span itemprop=”name”>Value purchase</span> – by

<span itemprop=”author”>Lucas</span>,

<meta itemprop=”datePublished” content=”2011-03-25″>March 25, 2011

<div itemprop=”reviewRating” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Rating”>

<meta itemprop=”worstRating” content = “1”/>

<span itemprop=”ratingValue”>4</span>/

<span itemprop=”bestRating”>5 stars </div>

<span itemprop=”description”>Great microwave for the price. It is small and fits in my apartment.</span>

</div>

The markup emphasizes the source of the review, rating, and description.

Events Markup

We have all heard the horror stories of the kid’s birthday party that nobody showed up to. We don’t want to be that kid in business!

If you are throwing a business event, it should be marketed across all of your social and public outlets. Events schema can help you publicize your event across Google.

Since schema requires visible content than you can add a blog article or calendar page for your Event markup. If you are promoting a sporting event, schema can tag the event’s name, date, time, location, and price.

The following is an example for a music festival;

 

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Event”>

<a itemprop=”url” href=”www.url.com”>

<span itemprop=”name”>Music Festival<span>

</a><div itemprop=”description”>Featuring 100 different artists</div>

<meta itemprop=”startDate” content=”2013-05-05T”> Starts: at 2:00 pm

<meta itemprop=”endDate” content=”2013-05-06T”>Ends:   10:00 pm

<div itemprop=”location” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Place”>

<a itemprop=”url” href=”www.URL.com”>Central Ampitheater</a>

<div itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>

<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Orlando</span>,

<span itemprop=”addressRegion”>FL</span>

<div itemprop=”offers” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/AggregateOffer”>

<span itemprop=”lowPrice”>$25</span>

<span itemprop=”highPrice”>$250</span> </div>

These are just a few schema markup categories. There are many more options, such as;

  • Organization
  • Person
  • Place
  • Products
  • Restaurants
  • Movies
  • Software Applications

 

WordPress plugins are making schema markup easier to apply. Here are the top schema plugins to increase your rankings on Google.

Each plugin has a customized dashboard, according to your website’s information. If you are not familiar with coding, then a plugin could be the best choice of adding schema to your website.

Adding schema markup can increase your rankings on Google. As an online marketer, I recommend optimizing your website with schema. Ask your website developer if you have schema markup on your website. If not, then Get Global Marketing can add the schema code to make your website more visible online.