Custom Web Design Agency in Wisconsin http://couleecreative.com Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:34:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Does Blogging Really Matter? http://couleecreative.com/blogging-really-matter/ http://couleecreative.com/blogging-really-matter/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 20:58:57 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2681 In a word: yes. Blogging can significantly impact your business’s bottom line. Perhaps you’re a dedicated blogger and already know how much it has worked to increase traffic, qualified leads...

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In a word: yes.

Blogging can significantly impact your business’s bottom line. Perhaps you’re a dedicated blogger and already know how much it has worked to increase traffic, qualified leads and boost sales. Or it’s possible that you’re like a good many business owners who had good intentions of keeping your blog current, posted initially when your site (re)launched and then quickly forgot that you even have a blog. If you’re part of the latter group (or just curious), this post is for you.

You don’t have to take my word for it that blogging can make a huge difference in your bottom line because now there’s proof in the form of a nifty infographic, thanks to Neil Patel.

 

How Blogging Affects Your Bottom Line
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout
That’s some powerful stuff! Now that you know it’s worth your time, set aside regular intervals throughout your week to get blogging! Here are a few quick tips to really get the most out of your blog posts:
1. Write really great posts. It’s not as impactful to do quick <500 word posts on something super top-level in your industry or worthy of a Geico quip “everybody knows that.” Instead, hone in on industry-related topics that you know well and work up to 2000 word articles that serve as a great guide for your audience. These are the types of posts that get shared.
2. Create a catchy titleWhile you don’t want to get so caught up in keywords that your title makes zero sense,  it would benefit you to think about how your audience searches in your industry and utilize commonly searched words in a similar phrase structure as one your audience might use on Google. Another consideration? People love numbers, such as 3 Quick Things or 5 Tips you Must Know. And finally, consider the benefit that the reader will receive by digesting your post and hone on this one great thing as the hook to get people reading.
3. Enrich your content with valuable keywords. Again, don’t make keywords the focus, but be sure to utilize ones that add value to your posts and are relevant to your industry.
Great content makes a difference!

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How to Boost Your Website Traffic in 3 Steps http://couleecreative.com/boost-website-traffic-3-steps/ http://couleecreative.com/boost-website-traffic-3-steps/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:05:34 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2672 It started with those five little words, “we need a new website.” Now it’s launched and positioned to compete, but there’s just one thing missing: visitors. If your website traffic...

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It started with those five little words, “we need a new website.” Now it’s launched and positioned to compete, but there’s just one thing missing: visitors. If your website traffic gets less hits than the San Diego Padres, then it might be time to revisit your web strategy. Thankfully, there are some tactics that you can employ right now to improve your web presence. Follow these three must-dos for your site and get the response your business needs to succeed.

Get noticed with great content

Compelling content not only draws in visitors and serves as an engaging way to tell your audience what you’re all about, but it also helps to establish your expertise and solidify your brand. Set up your blog and maintain a consistent stream of engaging articles that’s relevant to your niche.

Sounds so simple, right? I’m detecting an eye-roll from your side of the interwebs.  You’re sitting there thinking “I’m not a writer” and here’s one more person preaching about the almighty content king.

You CAN do this.  You can fill your blog with great content with some focus and practice.

Get started with your document of choice (Word, Google Docs, good ol’ pen and paper) and create an outline for one potential article. An outline will help you organize your thoughts, but more importantly it will take you from blank page to actual stuff on paper without the overwhelming task of doing it all in one shot. Some ideas to get outlining:

  • Share your expertise with tips relevant to your industry
  • Identify trends that correlate with your business
  • Consider some DIY solutions aimed at your target customer
  • Answer questions that your customers often ask

Still not totally feeling confident about generating content? Find a good copywriter or freelance writer who could help you create articles to publish. You’ll want to work closely with someone who has written about your industry and provide good guidance on what you’re looking for.

Know this: great content gets noticed and it gets people talking.

Rank higher with an optimized site

We’ve all heard of SEO, but not every site capitalizes on it. Incorporating basic SEO elements, such as commonly searched keywords that tie into your brand and niche, will help Google rank your site and help your audience find you.

So how do you get started?  First, make sure the content on your homepage is, at a minimum, these two things:

  1. Clearly written
  2. Compelling

This may seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised.  Just like your customers, search engines need to know what your company is all about too, so be sure that your homepage content is easy to understand. Someone who’s never come across your website before should quickly understand who you are and what you offer from the content on your homepage. Speak human: minimize the unnecessary jargon and puh-leeease do not try to fool Google by packing keywords and locations into content in a nonsensical manner.  While you’re at it, review all pages to make sure you have useful, relevant content across your entire website.

Next, keep your content fresh or maintain a blog.  Wheeeeeee!  We’re back to tip #1.  Excited?!  Google loves fresh content and will reward you in rankings when you keep your site updated and post regularly on your blog.

Finally, double check your tags. Your title tag is about 75 characters and should be a very short summary of the page with your primary keyword phrase, business name and city/state for local optimization. If the ideas of keyword density, meta tags and alt tags make your head spin, hire an SEO expert to guide you through the process.

Build an audience via social media

Social media as a marketing tool has grown up.  Popping a few social media buttons on your site is a good first step, but if those buttons don’t lead to something interesting, your visitors won’t have any reason to follow you.

Social media is an opportunity to give your brand a personality and reinforce it with regular posts.  Do your followers a favor and don’t use social media just to spam up newsfeeds with marketing (instead, use ads for that kind of thing).  How about you try this:

  • Share your blog posts (Tip #1 again. Boom.)
  • Post interesting and relevant information that appeals to your audience, not just from your site but from other related sources
  • Snap some photos that demonstrate your brand personality
  • Create an infogram
  • Engage in conversations
  • Announce contests, promote discounts and take polls

Give your audience incentive to follow you on social media, and awareness of your site and your business will grow.

Ready to get started and build your website traffic? Follow these three steps and you’ll be busier than a beaver.

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Behind the Scenes Photoshoot http://couleecreative.com/behind-scenes-photoshoot/ http://couleecreative.com/behind-scenes-photoshoot/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:12:26 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2658 A beautifully designed website with engaging content is a winning combination. But what’s one thing that can negatively effect even the best design? Poorly chosen stock photos. Your audience has...

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A beautifully designed website with engaging content is a winning combination. But what’s one thing that can negatively effect even the best design? Poorly chosen stock photos.

Your audience has gotten smart and knows that the cheesy group of suits shaking hands is a cheap image found on any stock photography site. Instead of connecting with your audience, a mediocre stock image could impact your credibility and decrease the likelihood of getting that all-important conversion.

So, what to do?

Not all stock images are bad! In fact, with a little searching and a decent budget, you can often find great photography that will resonate with your audience and help to reinforce your brand. But if you really want to make a great impression, a real photoshoot is the way to go.

There are many benefits of utilizing images from your own photoshoot, such as:

  • Your own products and services displayed beautifully on your site
  • Locations and models that represent your brand
  • Creating a look that connects with your audience
  • Elevating your look to be professional and authentic

Our team is on-site today shooting real photography for our latest project currently in the works. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s happening…

IMG_0002_SnapseedIMG_0004_Snapseed IMG_0006_Snapseed

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5 Ways to Boost Income through Your Website http://couleecreative.com/5-ways-boost-income-website/ http://couleecreative.com/5-ways-boost-income-website/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 19:06:35 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2648 We’ve only just met, but I’m pretty sure I know that you know that repeat business is super important to your financial well-being. You’ve heard of that 80/20 rule, right?...

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We’ve only just met, but I’m pretty sure I know that you know that repeat business is super important to your financial well-being. You’ve heard of that 80/20 rule, right? Pareto and his peas, my friend. Plus, you can crunch your own numbers, but I’ve read that it costs anywhere from 4-10 times as much for customer acquisition versus customer retention. Repeat business not only plays a major role in your business success, it’s also a key indicator of how well your website is performing. If you’re not seeing repeat activity on your site, you need to make some changes—and fast. Here are 5 tactics to earn repeat business through your website.

Get more by giving something good

Everybody loves a bargain. What’s even better is that a limited time incentive creates that sense of urgency that compels a customer to make the purchase.

Because hey, it’s on sale. Right. Now.

Right now is a goooood time to buy.  (Because, well, that offer could end any minute now.)

Advertise promotions on your site and send out personalized emails to each customer, thanking them for their business and offering discounts, deals and rewards to be used the next time they visit. Repeat customers are valuable. Why not give them a little value back?

Be easy. Really easy

Is it easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for on your pages? Are visitors funneled smoothly into a conversion, or are they bombarded by distracting links, graphics or other content? Dial down the unneeded frills on your site and keep the directions simple.

I need to let you in on a little secret: your industry jargon can be like reading lorem ipsum.  So please, save “448-bit security encryption” or “archival hinging technique” talk for Game of Thrones night with your coworkers because your customers don’t want their heads to spin.

When working on your navigation, content and calls-to-action, step out of your expert shoes and view your website from your customers’ perspective. Are your directions easy to understand if this is the first time to the site? Can the customer quickly understand the value of your product/service? Is it easy to buy? The smoother the experience, the more likely your customer is to do business with you again.

Build a great customer list

This may seem about as basic as customer retention gets, but surprisingly, many sites and businesses omit this step. Gathering personal information doesn’t have to mean demanding your customers fill out an intrusive, lengthy form. Registration forms with too many fields tend to scare off even the most excited customer.

Don’t scare customers!

All you really need for an email database are a name and email address to ensure you can reach customers later with a new product announcement or promotion. Provide an incentive, like a free ebook filled with engaging content or offer a product/service discount as a reward for providing their information. If you offer something of value with registration, your customers will happy to oblige.

Gain repeat readers with compelling content

Is your content fresh, interesting and tailored to your audience? If not, there’s no reason for a visitor to come back and take another look at it. A great way to get repeat business is to provide content that’s relevant to your brand and to your audience. If you’re consistently writing about topics that appeal to your customers, your customers will keep coming back to read it, and they’ll likely decide to take you up on whatever service or product you’re currently promoting as well.

Follow up

Gathering customer information does no good if you don’t act on it. Sending out a personalized “thank you” email is a great way to make customers feel appreciated.

And now that you’ve been acquiring visitor information, alert your customers to new products and services, items they’ve left in a shopping cart or current promotions. This simple step is key to reminding them of the value you offer and encouraging repeat business. Follow up with a survey, poll or questionnaire to make your visitors feel valued, not to mention obtain feedback to help you improve your site and your offerings.

Earning repeat business through your site means taking some simple steps toward giving each visitor and customer a great experience. Show appreciation for your audience and they’ll appreciate you back–and they’ll keep coming back.

And hey, thanks for reading!

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Holiday Survival Tips You’ll Love Year-round: Let’s Get De-stressed http://couleecreative.com/holiday-survival-tips-youll-love-year-round-lets-get-de-stressed/ http://couleecreative.com/holiday-survival-tips-youll-love-year-round-lets-get-de-stressed/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 17:30:06 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2620 Every year around mid-December, a flurry of articles on “Holiday Survival” and “Avoid Overdoing it During the Holidays” and the ever popular “How Keep Your Sh!t Together When Drunk Uncle...

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Every year around mid-December, a flurry of articles on “Holiday Survival” and “Avoid Overdoing it During the Holidays” and the ever popular “How Keep Your Sh!t Together When Drunk Uncle Jerry Starts Talking About Your Ugly Duckling Phase at Christmas Dinner…Again” hit the interwebs, news stands and magazine covers. You browse a few headlines and take a mental note that this week you really do plan to take a walk after dinner and learn to say “no.”

But wouldn’t it be better for your general health and wellness if you employed these strategies year-round? After all, practice makes perfect.

Know Your Limits

Buffy_drinking

This is true on so many levels from the number of last minute tasks you agree to take on to the consumption of Jingle Juice cocktails. Keep yourself feeling sound of mind and body by knowing your limits and stick to it. Taking on too much in a day can leave you feeling spread thin and unable to really focus on the tasks that matter, regardless of the time of year. So can that one last round.

Exercise. Just Dooo It Already.

Do it.

Seriously, do some exercise. Not tomorrow. Today. It doesn’t have to be some big to-do that involves navigating to the nearest CrossFit location and slogging through rounds and rounds of burpees and air squats. Unless that’s your thing (go for it! you’re my hero). Think of exercise like brushing your teeth. It should be part of your daily routine knowing you really stink without it, whether it’s taking a quick walk after lunch or following along with a sweet fitness app. You’ll be more focused, sleep better and feel pretty darn good.

 

Be Present

Baby_laugh

As a new mom, I make an effort to be in the moment no matter what the task. It’s so easy to start thinking of the grocery list during yoga, my kiddo’s supply of diapers while I’m working on web content or the worst…email or Facebook while I’m rocking our daughter to sleep. Ugh, how awful to wake up one day and realize that I missed those precious moments because I found myself sucked into yet another BuzzFeed quiz?! No way. Instead, be present in what you’re doing so you can give the current activity the attention it deserves. You’ll find that the unpleasant tasks will take less time and the fun activities are more enjoyable when you give it 100%.

Set Your (Holiday) Schedule

Typing

This is critical, especially for the small business owners out there. How many times have you caught yourself just taking a quick look at work email that you’re really not going to read until you see that one message from BEST client and suddenly you’ve read it and now it’s been two hours…holy crap I need to go to bed like an hour ago and I still haven’t wrapped presents. Been there? Yeah, it happens a lot if you don’t set boundaries on your time. Want to enjoy being at home after 6pm? Hoping to take three extra days off around the holidays? Ok then, make the commitment to your time away and communicate with your customers about your Out Of Office time and the game plan in case of an emergency. Clients understand that you want to enjoy time off not only during the holidays, but that you also deserve your own regular free time after all the awesome work you do. And those pesky notifications? Turn them off. Instead check your email at dedicated times that you set aside specifically for work.

Accept Help

You can do this. Accept help when it makes sense but maybe not when your well-intentioned but way too hip niece Maddie suggests helping you shop for drop-crotch pants (no. just, nooo). Throwing a holiday party and someone offers to bring an appetizer? Drop the control freak nature and say, “wonderful, thanks!” An officemate suggests handling this year’s Christmas card? Seems like a great time to delegate. Unless the Xmas card is your thing, then go ahead, do your thing.

Be Grateful

Is Thanksgiving the only time you’ve counted your blessings this year? It’s easy to lose sight of the things you’re grateful for when life gets hectic, holidays or no. Being grateful not only amps up your own warm fuzzies, but it also increases happiness and motivation in those to whom you’ve expressed your thanks. If you can’t say it in person make the snappy effort to send a, quick note email or text to people who deserve your gratitude. If you’ve received excellent customer service somewhere, share your appreciation via online review. And take a few moments to embrace the things that you’re most grateful for in life and you’ll find your mood elevated and your stress lessened.

The holiday season is a good time to start practicing survival tips that you can utilize all year round for a more enjoyable work-life balance. Go ahead, get started. Doooo it.

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CSSDA – Kaber wins Website Of The Day! http://couleecreative.com/css-design-awards-kaber-wins-site-day/ http://couleecreative.com/css-design-awards-kaber-wins-site-day/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:57:44 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2595 I’m excited to announce that the website we recently crafted for Kaber has won Site Of The Day on CSS Design Awards which judges websites based on creativity, design, code,...

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CSS Award for Kaber

I’m excited to announce that the website we recently crafted for Kaber has won Site Of The Day on CSS Design Awards which judges websites based on creativity, design, code, usability and content.!

It’s also featured on One Page Love and a nominee on Awwwards.

Kaber truly is an innovative company and we’re honored to be a part of helping them grow. Show the folks at Kaber some love and check out their new website!

VISIT WEBSITE

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How to Create An Amazing Website for Your Startup http://couleecreative.com/create-amazing-website-startup/ http://couleecreative.com/create-amazing-website-startup/#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 04:07:31 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2554 Ready to build a powerful website for your startup? Checkout our latest article “4 crucial principles for a compelling startup website” on Webdesigner Depot!

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Ready to build a powerful website for your startup? Checkout our latest article “4 crucial principles for a compelling startup website” on Webdesigner Depot!

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Recent Stories Published on WDL http://couleecreative.com/recent-stories-published-wdl/ http://couleecreative.com/recent-stories-published-wdl/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 17:43:37 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2534 As some of you may have noticed we’re now a guest author on Web Design Ledger, a standout blog in the web design industry that reaches well over a million...

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As some of you may have noticed we’re now a guest author on Web Design Ledger, a standout blog in the web design industry that reaches well over a million people each month! We’re honored to be contributing content on WDL and while we’ll continue to publish stories on our blog from time to time, most of our new articles will be published on blogs like WDL where they can receive the most exposure and help the most people.

Our Latest

Below are recent stories published by Jared Chelf on WDL

Why a Responsive Web Design Will Help You Get More Visitors

4 Common Mistakes You are Making on Your Website and How to Fix Them

5 Things Every Great About Page Needs

Why You Must Learn To Optimize a Minimalist Landing Page

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New Website Launched for Harter’s http://couleecreative.com/new-website-launched-harters/ http://couleecreative.com/new-website-launched-harters/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 15:45:39 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2526 Harter’s Quick Clean Up has been “talking trash” for over 50 years. While Harter’s is well known and respected throughout Wisconsin their website failed to match their vision. We helped...

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Harter’s Quick Clean Up has been “talking trash” for over 50 years. While Harter’s is well known and respected throughout Wisconsin their website failed to match their vision. We helped them establish a new online presence with a custom website and new strategy that is customer focussed.

VISIT WEBSITE

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Why you need a vertical marketing strategy http://couleecreative.com/marketing-strategy-business/ http://couleecreative.com/marketing-strategy-business/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 17:04:36 +0000 http://couleecreative.com/?p=2410 When it comes to an effective marketing strategy, your business can’t take things lying down. A vertical strategy involves a tiered, interconnected system, seamlessly integrated into your online presence that...

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When it comes to an effective marketing strategy, your business can’t take things lying down. A vertical strategy involves a tiered, interconnected system, seamlessly integrated into your online presence that combines smart design and content, the latest technology trends and social media metrics to maximize brand immersion, awareness and conversion. Let’s look at tips and technologies that can help you hone the perfect strategy for your brand.

The core of your strategy – Your Website

It’s your online headquarters, your home base, where your presence and identity are established. After you’ve identified your conversion goals, you need to construct or revamp an effective online presence that’s reflective of those goals. Building up your strategy from your website requires full integration of the media outlets and channels you want to cover. It also requires smart, engaging design. Your brand and message should be incorporated into a website that delivers an interactive experience, incorporates social media and provides rich content and images-all of which must be on track with your brand, your vertical marketing strategy and your message.

Integrating technology

Technology evolves constantly, and your marketing strategy needs to take advantage. Are you using the most effective CRM web-based automated data solution for your brand and strategy? 94 percent of adults have a mobile phone in arms reach at all times. Have you integrated cross-device compatibility into your vertical marketing strategy? Have you set a plan for gauging mobile analytics? Are you designing apps? All these different strategies need to tie back into your conversion goals and your upwardly-moving vertical marketing strategy.

Content

Social Media B2B reports that companies with blogs generate 67 percent more leads than companies that don’t. However, splashing articles and posts all over your site won’t provide value if they’re not building on your overall marketing strategy. Your vertical strategy should be interwoven into all your content, and your content must always reflect your overall message.

Social media metrics leverage

You’ve cemented your conversion goals. You’ve invested time getting to know your audience on relevant social media channels, and you’ve amassed the type of following that just seems to scream “success.” But there’s a big difference between gathering data and leveraging it effectively. Are you using visitor frequency rates to target new and returning site visitors? Are you optimizing engagement rates to turn conversations into meaningful actions? How much referral traffic actually leads to conversions? Extracting real data out of your metrics enables you to refine your conversion goals, get more value out of your time and build up your vertical marketing strategy.

Today’s consumers are looking for a pure, relevant message that speaks to them. You can deliver that message by utilizing the newest trends and innovations, connecting with and engaging your target audience on social media platforms and constantly evolving your website. Keep your conversion goals in front of you, and your vertical website strategy will keep building up.

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