Small Dog Creative

    5 Benefits of a Website Refresh

      The digital environment never stands still, and neither should your website. In fact, regular updates to your online presence ensure that your design and content continues to match audience expectations, and helps you grow your business. Of course, the time and monetary investment required in this refresh may lead you to be hesitant in making the choice to retouch a website that already functions. In that case, consider the top 5 benefits of a website refresh in detail below.  ...

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    Website Design: 2 Ways To Turn Website Visitors Into Customers

    While getting plenty of traffic to your website is exciting, it means nothing if none of those visitors become paying customers. Having the rightwebsite design plays a huge role in whether or not visitors to your site will pay for your services and products. In this post, you will learn two clever ways to leverage the right website design and turn visitors into customers....

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    Keep Your Revenue in the Black and Your Income Out of the Red with a Web Site that Sells for You!

    Sales is the life blood of any business and your job in selling is never over. It is unlikely that a robot is going to take over the sales process for you anytime soon. However, if you want a quick and painless way to get into the black ( revenue !!!), check out the three tips below....

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    Make Your Website A "Face" To Remember With Wordpress CMS

    Groucho Marx once said, "I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception." Your company's website is its face, it is the first thing a customer sees before actually visiting or contacting you and it is the last impression you want to leave them with at the end of the transaction. If you do not WOW them at that first moment and satisfy them at that last opportunity, you can believe they will side with Groucho, forget you and move on to your competitor....

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    First Impressions...Online

    The American business landscape has reinvented itself so quickly, some small companies find it challenging just to keep up. With mobile websites, hundreds of platforms, social media, and new apps coming out every day, staying relevant isn't an easy task anymore. According to Entrepreneur, "You must have a professional-looking site if you want to be taken seriously. Since many consumers now search for information online prior to making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store, your site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. If your site looks like it was designed by a barrel of colorblind monkeys, your chance at making a good first impression will be lost." Great web design is essential in your site and business's success, however, it's unlikely, that as a business owner you have enough time, energy, and expertise to design a site that can offer your users an intuitive experience, robust platform, and aesthetically pleasing online atmosphere....

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    Trends in Creative Graphic Design That Can Help Your Website Stand Out

    Your company has put a great deal of time and effort into creating a one-of-a-kind product or service. You have diligently written expert descriptions and posted them to your new website. However, your website still looks generic. By utilizing a creative approach, innovative graphic designers can make your website stand out from the crowd bringing you even more customers. Here are a few design trends that will keep your website on the cutting edge for 2015....

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    Small Business Websites - Get it Right the First Time

    It may be hard to believe that in this day and age only half of all small businesses have websites. When 97% of consumers search online for products and services, not having a web presence is like shooting yourself in the foot. Whether your small business website is up and running or you’re just getting out of the starting gate, it is important to do the research and make sure your web presence plans are on the right track. When just starting out there are two things you should focus on: 1) Being Found by Your Potential Customers, and 2) Converting Visitors into Customers....

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    Announcements & Calendars

    Announcements...

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    Starting Forums

    A great way to build out your website without working too hard is with a forum. Providing a place for people to ask and answer questions, discuss issues, and meet people is a great way to strengthen your website with original content. Best of all, you don't need to write it!...

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    How Much Will My Website Cost?

    This is a good question to ask a design team before they get started on your website. But a more important question to ask is "How much should my website cost?"....

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    Our New Website

    Well we finally did it! Our new site is live....

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    Blog Design, Setup & Training

    Business blogs are essential to every corporate website. Blogging not only adds fresh content to your website, blogs give you a forum to start a dialogue with your customers....

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    How To Get More Leads From Your Website

    We all know websites are a powerful marketing tool but not all websites are used to their full potential. Few visitors will call or buy from a website on the first visit, so getting their information in some other way is important. Getting their information allows you to reconnect, inform them and bring them back to your site....

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    Don't Make Carl's Mistake

    Chances are... More people will visit your website than come in the door of your office next year. Let me tell you about Carl’s company... Carl worked hard to get his company up and running, he spent lots of money designing his office, the signage was perfect, the lobby had welcoming decor, and the offices had top of he line furniture. After months of planning and building his new office was finally complete. Carl stood back to admire his new business and realized he still needed a website. He was not yet convinced a website would bring in customers or money so he budgeted as little as he could for it. He decided that if it worked, down the road he would later invest in something better....

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    Startup Weekend in Santa Clarita

    I just got back from Startup Weekend in Santa Clarita. It was an amazing event, filled with sweat covered programmers and designers building sites and apps to develop and present in 54 hours. Sounds crazy, I know, but there was an amazing energy and excitement in the air that was truly intoxicating....

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    What is a Conversion Rate? - PODCAST

    I want to talk about something called your website's Conversion Rate, how important that is to your website, and how neglected it really is. Conversion rate is the percentage of total visitors who convert while visiting your website. Now, depending on what type of website you have, your conversion might be different. Your conversion could be a sale, capturing a lead, registration, signing up for something, or some other kind of call to action on your website. Your conversion rate is the amount of people you get to actually take one of those steps or actions. If you have 100 people visiting your site, and one person decides to fill out a contact form, then you have a 1% conversion rate. If 2 people do it, then you have a 2% conversion rate. One or two percent might seem pretty low, but it's really not bad. It's actually pretty good. Anywhere between 1 and 3 percent conversion rate should be considered a pretty good rate for a website. So, if you have 400 people come to your website every week, and you don't have 4-8 people contacting you or taking an action, then conversion rate should be something you really start thinking about, as well as how to optimize your conversion rate or get more people to take that next step or call to action. There are a number of reasons why you would want to perform Conversion Rate Optimization on your website. If you wanted to take advantage of the traffic you already have coming to your website, for example if you have 400 visitors coming to your website and you're seeing a 0.5% conversion rate, then taking a look at your website and increasing your Conversion Rate could mean more revenue with the same amount of traffic you already get. That's something nobody wants to shy away from. Another reason is that before you start to put your money into a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program or social media, or any other kind of online marketing, it's really important to take a look at how many people your site is able to capture, or how many leads are really coming through there. If you put a lot of money into SEO, and you have a 0.5% conversion rate or lower, you would be pouring money down the drain. If you had a 2, 3, or 4% conversion rate, then that's a great time to put money into an SEO plan, because you know your website can actually make that sale for you. The other big advantage to conversion rate is especially neglected:  companies put up a website, and that's it - they don't touch it again. They don't take a look at it and they don't follow the numbers to see what's working and what's not. Taking a look at your Conversion Rate is a fairly new thing to do or track. If you start optimizing your website by looking to increase your website's Conversion Rate and getting more leads from the traffic you already have, then you're going to have a much more efficient online marketing program. You're going to see a much higher return on any investment that you're making. Starting early is the best way to go. The next question is how do you change or increase a Conversion Rate? This can be different things, but usually it starts with the design of the site. Your website is an online salesperson, and it is out there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is either selling for you, telling a story, and doing a wonderful job, or it's not. If your salesperson - your website - isn't showing up looking "ready for work," then it's not going to get you sales. A lot of websites out there aren't designed well. They don't look professional; they don't look like a professional designer touched them; they look like they were thrown up in five minutes; or they might look like they were thrown up in the early 90s. It's important to make sure that the design of your website gives people the trust you need to instill in them for them to give you a call, take another step or even stay on your website. The next part is making sure you have pieces in place to convert. It's surprising how many websites have a "free-for-all" attitude, and don't have a path or clear direction for visitors to travel down. Once they get to the end of that path, all that's there is a phone number or contact form. If you increase the number of ways that you can convert people - having multiple order forms, quote forms, get them to sign up for a newsletter, get them to do something, or get them to do one of five things - then you're going to increase your odds of having somebody do something with your website. Any lead and any information your gather is somebody you can follow up with, and reconnect with, which is vital in the online marketing world. Changing conversion rate does get more detailed than that, but that's the big stuff. We've covered the parts you really should be concerned with. Take a look at your site, check out your design, make sure you have a sales pitch and a sales path, and a way to capture information and you're on your way! If you are interested in leaving questions, feel free to post them on the blog and we'll respond with comments. You're also welcome to contact us on our website if you have any more questions or comments....

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    Upcoming Seminar: SEO in Plain English

    Want to See Your Website at the Top of Google Search Results?...

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    Who's To Blame? Search Engine Optimization or the Website?

    If your website isn't performing for you, should you blame your website or your on page seo (search engine optimization)? The answer isn't always clear, not even to the pros. To often site owners jump into costly search engine optimization with a poor performing website. Increasing traffic to a website that is not converting visitors to leads or sales is a waste of money. It's like launching a massive advertising campaign for store, and then having all your new customers come in the door to a half empty store. Your site should perform well with less traffic first, then put the money into increasing traffic to a site that converts visits to leads or sales....

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    Websites Then & Now: Mac

    Ready for a flash back? Our Then & Now series takes a look at how far we have really come. We check out websites from the past and their current designs. Take the opportunity to compare your site to our examples... is it more then than now? This week we are checking out a company that sets the bar pretty high for design... Apple. But, as nice and glossy as their site looks now, it didn't always look that way. They have come along way from this screen shot that was taken in 1998 (that's 13 years ago). I'm sure it was pretty high tech at the time, but now it's pretty elementary in comparison to what we are used to seeing. Check out this one from January 2011... Much cleaner, sleeker and... yes wider, than it's predecessor.  Mac has always had a clean site, but the new one uses space smarter, and incorporates texture into the design. Mac was also still sporting it's old rainbow logo at the time of the old screen shot, now color is reserved for their products. If you visit the Mac site frequently you will also notice, that they change out their homepage at least daily, some times more often. Check out their site today....

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    We Salute You: Designers of Jim Carrey's Website

    Every once in a while we run into some amazing website, ad, t-shirt, product, commercial or campaign that make us jealous we didn't do it first. In this ongoing column we salute that which amazes us. Jim Carrey's website is part exploration, part entertainment, and anything but traditional. Viewing the site is like entering the mind of Jim Carrey, a fully rendered world filled with silliness and wonder. This website proves web designers are only limited by their imagination, client budget, and supporting programmers.   Whether you like Jim Carrey or not, check out his website and reset your expectations of what a website should look like....

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