Blog Archive

Your business website is an extension of your sales team. it should capture leads, convert traffic and provide the information that the user is looking for. Here are the last 6 website mistakes you may be making and what you need to do to fix them:

 

Click here to view 15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)

Your Website Lacks Great Content: Website Mistake #10

Content is King In Website Copy

Google has been making adjustments to their algorithm more than twice per day for the last few years. If your website pages and posts do not have at least 350-400 words per article then you are not going to see those pages ranking too often on the first page of Google for the desired keywords that you want your site to get found for.

Too much content can be an issue if you have done a poor job writing copy that includes your keywords in an organic way throughout the article.

Google has been rewarding sites that have exceeded the one thousand word mark, because they want to provide the user searching the best quality posts and information that they can in the first 5 links of a search query.

Web Design requires content & content is King of Blogging!

Your On-site Optimization is Missing: Website Mistake #11

Content is Still King

If you are not an SEO or Search Engine Optimization expert that does not mean that you cannot do a wonderful job writing great content on your website!

The key to good on-site optimization is following the format or the checklist that we have provided here in these 15 Web Design Tips for Business.

  • Have a Mobile or Responsive Website Design
  • Use The Proper Site Title & Tagline
  • Use The Best Page Title for Your Page or Post
  • Don’t Use A Rotating Slider on Your Home Page (above the fold)
  • Use Your Post Name in Your Permalinks
  • Your Heading Tags Should Include Your Keywords
  • Your Site Should Load Quickly
  • Optimize Your Website Images
  • Use the SEO Yoast Plugin for WordPress
  • Write Great Content That Makes The Internet Better

You Don’t Categorize Your Posts: Web Design Tip #12

Website Design Tips for Posting WordPress Blog Posts

Post categories are a wonderful way to keep related content that is published on your website in one central location that is easy to find. If you do not use WordPress, once again you are missing out on some wonderful features that this open source platform can offer your website design!

Contact The Sherwood Group for a free consultation to see if a WordPress Responsive Website Design is right for your business.

Each post that is published on your blog should have been categorized properly. In the back end of WordPress, (when you are creating a post) you will find a widget rail on the right hand side that is labeled “Categories.” Simply check the category box to add a post to a category or click “add new category” to create an additional category for your website.

 

The Sherwood Group Webmaster Tips

You Never Submitted Your Site To Webmaster Tools: Website Mistake #13

Your website should be connected to Google Webmaster tools. To do this you can log into your Google Account:

Next, paste in your URL and click “submit request.”

Here is a complete guide to using Google Webmaster Tools from Search Engine Watch.

You  Are Linking Out To Way To Many Sites: Website Mistake #14

Your website should provide the user with great information. It is always helpful to link out to the best resources that you can find for illustrating or further explaining your points in depth. Here are three tips for linking from your site:

  • Have a limited amount of site links that are linking off-site
  • Do not use their keywords to link to them
  • Consider writing a second article on your own blog to link to rather than sending the visitor off your site

Web Design Tips - Avoid Too Many Outbound Links

If you worked so hard to get found online, whether it was: in the organic search, traffic from paid ads. press releases or social media…

Why send that traffic somewhere else to continue their research?

Be the expert by providing the information needed on your own website. Limit how often you link to another site and avoid using the relevant keyword anchor text links that pass your page “power” or “page juice” onto the mega sites on the web.

You Don’t Use Alt Tags for Your Images: Website Mistake #15

Each image on your website can have an attribute that brings up a line of text when the users mouse hover over the image in your site page or post. This a:hover feature is known as “Alt text.” Many times people did not know: what alt text is, what it does or how to use it properly.

Write something in your alt text field so that your mouse over on the image brings up a text line that tells the user and the search engine what this image is all about.

This is a great place to briefly summarize the image, (using your keywords) in less than 5-7 words. Don’t skip the alt text!

Contact us for more information to help you grow your business.

Click here to view 15 Website Mistakes You Should Avoid (Part 1)

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part II)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?
4 Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Grow Their Business
3 Ways to use LinkedIn Groups to Grow Your Professional Network

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Creative Agency:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Successful business people know that they must be organized with their time, both personally and professionally. You need to schedule (usually with a calendar) both family time and work time. So, how can you think like a successful entrepreneur and do it all? Read on….

 

successful entrepreneur, website design santa clarita

Organization.

The biggest thing that successful business people can do is to get and stay organized. They need to know exactly when everything is due and approximately how long it will take them to do it. They also need to figure out when to fit it into their very busy schedule. Many people keep a to-do list of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. These lists can be adjusted as they accomplish these things. Sometimes they also need to adjust the lists if they realize that they simply cannot do everything that they thought that they could in one day.

Calendar.

The most successful people also keep a calendar. They start by scheduling family time, appointments, and other obligations. They schedule time to clean, shop, and anything else that they have to fit into their schedule. Many people try to keep a pretty regular work schedule so that their clients know when they can reach them.

Paperwork.

Successful business people are also organized when it comes to their paperwork. They find a filing system that works and stick to it. If something does not work, they try something new. When they need to find a certain piece of paper, they know exactly where to find it. They do not waste time looking for it. This helps their business run smoothly and efficiently.

It can be hard to run your own business, especially if you do not have any help. Many people also have families and homes to look after. They may also have spouses who feel that their career is less important, especially if they work from home. But if you follow the above tips you’ll be ahead of the game!

Contact us for more information to help you grow your business.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Four Clients You Should Fire Immediately
How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part II)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?
4 Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Grow Their Business
3 Ways to use LinkedIn Groups to Grow Your Professional Network

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Creative Agency:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

As a business owner you probably deal with clients on a daily basis. They are the reason that you are in business and the reason that you are making money. You need them to stay in business. However, there are some clients you should fire immediately because they are simply NOT WORTH KEEPING.

Now is the time to fire bad clients

Here’s a list of 4 clients you should fire immediately:

  • Clients who do not pay in a timely fashion. You will spend more time chasing them to get paid then it is worth it. You will quickly learn that losing a little bit of money will not be worth the extra hours that it will take to actually get the money into your hands.
  • Clients who can’t make up their mind.   Though people are allowed to change their mind, clients who are constantly changing the direction of what they need from you will cause you a lot of frustration. No frustration is worth the money, especially if they change their mind at the last minute and cause you a lot of extra work.
  • Clients who are unreachable. Though everyone is busy and not able to answer their phones and e-mails, you should not have to wait days for a reply. You should expect a reply within a reasonable amount of time so that you are able to continue work whenever you have a question.
  • Clients who always wait until the last minute. These can be some of the most frustrating clients to have. They want something and they need it now, no matter what else you have to do. They do not care if they inconvenience you or cause you to lose sleep, as long as you get the work done on time.

Though you need clients to get paid, there are some clients who are not worth keeping. They might be more work than they are worth. Sometimes, it is just easier to cut ties and move on. You will find yourself much happier with the right clients!

Contact us for more information to help you grow your business.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

How To Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Tips for Working at Home (Part II)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
Is Facebook Dead for Business?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?
4 Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Grow Business
3 Ways to use LinkedIn Groups to Grow Your Professional Network

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Creative Agency:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

There’s no doubt about it. Google is the 800 pound Gorilla when it comes to the search engines, and if you don’t have a Google Local Business listing for your business you’re missing out on traffic that could generate some good business for you and your company.

 

Google local, google business, SEO, search engine optimization

Here’s the step-by-step process that you need to do to claim your Google local business listing on Google and Google Maps in 5 simple steps (depending on who’s counting).

Step 1. In Your Google Search Bar type in Google Local Listing, then press enter.

How To Claim Your Google Local Listings

 

Next you will want to select: google.com/business

How to Setup Google Local Listing

It is important to note that you will need to have a Google Account or a Gmail Address already registered with Google.

If you do already have a Google account then you may skip the next 4 steps…

For those that do not have a Google Account registered we will help you set one up. You will need either a Gmail account or an email address registered with Google in order to claim your local business listing on Google Maps.

Setting Up A Google Account:

create-new-google-account

If you already have a Google Account set up, you can continue down to the Begin Your Local Listing section below.

To Create a Google Account you may use a vanity email, as many companies use email, such as: info@yourbusiness.com or support@yourwebsite.com. To do this simply click the link on the form, found below the email address field, that says “I prefer to use my current email address.”

i-prefer-to-use-current-address

To Create your account using a new Gmail address proceed to fill out the form including password, confirmation, then agree to the terms and fill in the captcha before clicking on “Next Step.”

google-account-top-of-form

In the last section of the form I have the opportunity to provide my recovery email address, which will also be my backup reset email address for the Gmail that I am creating.

google-account-finish-setup

 

Below the captcha I can  choose my location. Then agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and then click “Next Step.”

Now I am ready to begin signing up for my Google Local listing.

google-local-listing

Before I do I need to log into my Google Account.

sign-inI can do that by visiting Google.com and clicking “Sign In.”

Here you can login to Google using your email address registered on your Google Account or Gmail address. Your password is required to “Sign In.”

how-to-log-in-to-google-gmail

Step 2. Click on “Get your page.”

google-local-listing-page-step-1-after-login

Now you can select a Category that best suits your business.

google-local-listing-choose-a-business-type-step-2-after-login

Step 3.  Create Your Google Plus:

  • Page name
  • Register Your Website Domain Name
  • Select the “Type of Page” that you are creating

select-category-step-3

Step 4. Mark the check box to agree to the Google Page Terms and then click Create page.

google-local-agree-to-terms-of-service-step-4

Step 5. Take the tour by clicking “Get Started.”

click-get-started-step-5

The tour will take you from the beginning to the end on your options.

It begins with loading some information and pictures about the business.

add-information

Do fill in all the business information and follow the tour to complete the profile up to 91%.

Once you have done that be sure and “Verify” your business listing by postcard to complete the Google business address process. In the mail you will receive a postcard that has a four-digit code on it. You must log back into the Google Business Page profile to complete the verification process. Generally the postcard takes about 2 weeks to arrive. Once you have received the card with your code, immediately claim your physical address listing so that your business can begin to show up on Google Maps.

In the tour you will be given a chance to:

  • Load Pictures onto Your Business Profile Page
  • Add Your Business Address
  • Hours of Operation
  • Contact Information
  • Email Address
  • Business Description
  • Link To Your Website
  • Connect to Your Google Plus Page

Contact The Sherwood Group for more information on getting local traffic from Google and YouTube to your website.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Tips for Working at Home (Part II)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
Is Facebook Dead for Business?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?
4 Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Grow Business
3 Ways to use LinkedIn Groups to Grow Your Professional Network

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Creative Agency:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

 

 

Our earlier post was about the difference between the fantasy of working at home and the reality. People dream of working in their comfortable clothes, spending their days with their children. However, as a small business owner, you don’t often make money when you are distracted by working at home.

 

Tips for working at home (part II)

Here are 4 more tips to working at home so that you are more productive in your business:

  • Use uninterrupted time wisely. When you have time to work (nap time, school, etc), use it wisely. Know exactly what you need to do and where things are so that you can just sit down and get to work. Do not use this time to try to decide what you should be doing. This will waste valuable time. If you are able to have an office where everything is ready whenever you have the time that is even better.
  • Turn your cell phone off (if possible) whenever you are working. If not, only take business calls during business hours. Do not text people while you are working. That is just as distracting.
  • Hire some help around the house. It can be distracting to see the laundry piling up and the dirty house. If you can afford to, hire someone to do some cleaning and laundry. If not, set certain times aside just for cleaning. Otherwise, work when you say that you will.
  • Hire childcare. Hiring someone to help with the children might be one of the best decisions that you ever make when you own your own business. Though you want to stay home with your children, you need to have some periods of uninterrupted time to get a lot of work accomplished.

Working at home comes with a lot of distractions. When you have uninterrupted time, be ready and use it wisely. Know exactly what you want to do and get to work. Turn your cell phone off when you are working so you are not distracted. Hire someone to help you clean (if you can afford to). If not, set aside times for cleaning and times for working. Look into someone to help with the children too. That will really help you too!

Contact The Sherwood Group for more ways to be productive in your business.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Tips for Working at Home (Part I)
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
Is Facebook Dead for Business?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?
4 Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Grow Business
3 Ways to use LinkedIn Groups to Grow Your Professional Network

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Creative Agency:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Given the explosive proliferation of mobile devices, web designers are increasingly tending to develop websites that cater more specifically to the user-experience: ease-of-use, minimalism and readability, and away from gimmicks like flashing buttons and animated gifs.

 

Responsive websites (that automatically resize to the users’ screen size) continue to lead the trends since web searches on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have increased dramatically with the growth of these devices. Also, as the demand for engagement has increased, designers have begun adding features such as calls-to-action, email newsletter signups, and social media sharing links.

Stay tuned: web design trends continue to present an ever-evolving progression of changes. For more info, check out this infographic:

 

Santa Clarita web design trends

[Infographic via WhoIsHostingThis?.]

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Using Testimonials to Effectively Market Your Website
Tips for Working at Home (Part I)
What Today’s Marketers Can Learn From Door-to-Door Sales
Is Facebook Dead for Business?
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?
5 Tools for Blogging on the Go
3 Ways to use LinkedIn Groups to Grow Your Professional Network

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Creative Agency:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

There are many ways to upgrade your business’ website to attract more potential consumers, however, adding testimonials from satisfied customers can be a very effective feature. Testimonials are feedback from customers praising your business and its products that can bring more credibility to your business’ website.

 

Using Testimonials to Effectively Market Your Website

 

In many cases, customers trust the word of other customers. More than 70 percent of Americans say they read product reviews before making a purchase and that nearly 63 percent of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from your site if it includes product ratings and reviews. Testimonials are much like ratings and reviews, but more personable, which is what your website could use — a personal touch. Here are three kinds of testimonials you should consider for your site:

Readable Testimonials

These testimonials are designed for visitors to your website to read and see what other customers say about your products. Reach out to your best and most loyal customers and ask if they will be a part of a testimonial. Readable testimonials should be a bit more lengthy than your regular product reviews. These should include content about your product and your business, as well as the good relationship your business has with that customer. It’s important to avoid dead-end, yes or no questions, and to keep each testimonial about the same length.

Hire a photographer to take appropriate photos that are similar in display (similar backgrounds and lighting) and to be sure they are taken in high-resolution format. Ensure the fonts for headers and content on your page are uniform and not too flashy. If you gather and create enough readable testimonials, you could make your testimonial page your main page, which can be featured as an example of how important your customers are to you.

Video Testimonials

Video testimonials can bring a more professional look to your website and really capture a viewer’s attention. As much as 90 percent of online shoppers on websites of major retailers say videos are helpful when making shopping decisions. That’s a significant number to ignore. LifeLock combines both readable and video testimonial features on its website, posting videos on the right side of the page along with the customers’ quotes on the left. Included is the customer’s first name, the first letter of his/her second name and how long he or she has been a member (or customer) of the company.

It’s important to hire a professional videographer to record your customers’ testimonials. Cutting corners to cut down on costs to set up testimonials could easily come through in the finished product if you don’t do it right. Again, be sure to ask thought-provoking questions and have similar background and lighting with each testimonial. You want your customer to look as good as they’re making your business look so be sure to work with the videographer in the editing process, eliminating any “ums” and “uhs” or potentially embarrassing moments, like an unintentional sneeze or coughing hack.

Case Studies

A case study can be an interview with one customer. It can be either readable content or a video. A case study shows how a particular problem was solved or a lifestyle has been enriched for the customer by your business. Showcasing whatever results your customer talks about in a case study can not only increase interest in your business from site visitors, but if you do it well enough, it can generate even more hits through sites like YouTube and be shared through your business’ social media platforms as well as your customers.’

A case study explains how your expertise, your business solves problems, reaches goals and connects to your real-world customers. It can go into the statistics, science and processes of how your business improves customers’ lives, one way or another. It can include graphics and charts supporting those facts/theories and include a video of your customer to give it that compelling, personal touch to website visitors. To pull off a good case study, you will need IT help, a good videographer and photographer and a committee of your best employees to brainstorm ideas on what to include in the case study. The amount of time and money you put into your website testimonials will pay off if you do it correctly.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Tips for Working at Home (Part I)
What Today’s Marketers Can Learn From Door-to-Door Sales
Are You Charging Enough for Your Services?
3 Tools To Help You Deliver Legendary Customer Service
Is Facebook Dead for Business?
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Your Business
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?
5 Tools for Blogging on the Go
4 Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Grow Business
3 Ways to use LinkedIn Groups to Grow Your Professional Network

This article is published by The Sherwood Group, Creative Agency:
The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, California.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?


© 2013 - The Sherwood Group
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