In times of economic downturn, it's important to make sure that your website is up-to-date and working optimally. Making sure that your website looks great, has the most up-to-date content, runs quickly, and offers a great customer experience will help you weather the storm and come out on top.
From the web design experts at Waking Girl Web Design, here are some tips on how to give your website a refresh in preparation for an economic downturn.
Having a website that loads quickly is essential for success in any market condition. Slow sites can lead to frustrated customers who don't have the patience to wait for pages to load or search results to appear. Optimize your site by compressing images and using caching techniques to make sure that there are no delays when customers try to access your site.
Optimize for Mobile
In today's world, mobile optimization is essential. With more people accessing websites from their phones than ever before, you must make sure that your website looks great on all devices. Make sure that all fonts and images scale properly on smaller screens and use media queries if necessary so that everything looks great regardless of device size or type.
Create High-Quality Content
High-quality content can be the difference between success and failure during recessions. Make sure that all of the content on your website is relevant, accurate, and well-written so that customers trust what they are reading when they visit your site. You should also consider adding video content as well as graphics or photos to keep visitors engaged with your content.
Focus on Customer Service
It's important during times of economic hardship for businesses to prioritize customer service above all else so as not to alienate potential customers who may already be feeling stressed due to financial circumstances outside of their control. Investing in customer service technology, such as live chat services or automated responses, will show customers that you care about their needs and are willing to go above and beyond to provide them with helpful solutions.
Learn the Ropes
One of the most effective ways to give your website a refresh is by improving your coding skills. After all, a website that looks aesthetically pleasing but doesn't do what it needs to do will fail to yield results. Once you have your design and branding in order, click here to brush up on changing coding languages, debugging basics, and more. Taking the time to learn coding can make a real difference in how well your website performs both during the downturn and beyond.
If you're not familiar with coding languages such as HTML or CSS, consider investing time into learning these skills so you can enhance your website yourself without paying extra money for professional services. Are you eager to pursue a CompTIA certification to enhance your website to its fullest potential? Investing time in IT courses is an exciting way to take control of your website and make sure it looks exactly how you want it to and does what it’s supposed to.
Work With the Pros
If you don't have the time or desire to learn coding languages yourself, partnering with a professional web designer will be beneficial during an economic downturn for the expert advice they can provide, ranging from how best to optimize your site to increasing your sales and conversions over time. Fill out this questionnaire and let Waking Girl Web Design do the rest!
As the economic landscape shifts, staying ahead of competitors and ensuring a strong online presence is key. For entrepreneurs looking to weather this storm in style, investing time into website optimization can make all the difference: think of loading speed upgrades, mobile compatibility, and comprehensive customer service solutions. Your business will be ready for anything coming its way.
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New small business owners have a lot on their plates, from figuring out financial projections to learning the ins and outs of marketing. For those who are just starting out, one of the main focal points of getting a business up and running is creating a brand, and there are several aspects involved in that process alone. That’s why it’s so important to give yourself plenty of time to build your brand’s identity and tackle all of the elements that go along with it, from brand management to creating brand awareness. Need help streamlining those details? Take a look at Waking Girl Web Design, where you’ll find an array of services that will help with everything from managing your social media posts to performing accounting tasks.
Before you can get started, you’ll need to think about your ideal customer and how you’ll reach them with your branding strategy. Let’s take a look at some branding tips so you can start your business off on the right foot.
Learn all you can about your target customer
No matter how popular your product is, it’s not realistic to expect every type of customer to buy it, which is why you’ll need to do some research on the consumers you’re targeting. What type of products are already available to them from your competitors? What are their needs? Where do they typically do their shopping? Are they teens, adults, or older adults? Creating a detailed composite of the ideal customer for your business will allow you to customize your branding to their needs and figure out how and where to reach them.
Learn how to use social media to your advantage
One of the most popular spots to reach customers is social media, but not all platforms are built the same, so it’s important to learn about the ones you prefer and create a strategy for making the most of your time there. For instance, how does their algorithm work? If you share a post at a certain time of day, will it do better than at a different time?
It’s also important to utilize social media tools, such as paid ads, reels, and even memes, which are easy, cost-efficient ways to engage with your audience. Memes are especially great because they can be customized according to the type of message you want to get across. Here’s a meme maker that allows you to choose a template, then insert your text and background to create a funny, touching, or relatable meme.
Make your brand memorable
Once you have the right social media tools and a good understanding of who your customer is, you can start to build the elements of your brand, which include a memorable logo and/or slogan, imagery that stands out from your competitors, and those intangible factors that make your business great. Whether your strengths are stellar customer service or a commitment to protecting the environment, those details should go into your business’s mission statement so you can build customer loyalty.
Figure out where you could use a hand
As you start putting together the elements of your brand, think about the areas where you could use a little help. No business owner can do everything themselves, and some branding tasks are better left to the pros. If you’re not great at keeping up with social media posts, let the team at Waking Girl Web Design take over with a customized campaign. Because there’s so much that goes into social media for small businesses, having the support of an experienced team can help prevent costly or time-consuming issues, so you don’t have to worry about the details.
Creating a brand for your business is an essential task, but it can also be an eye-opening one. Take some time to learn more about the process and what it entails, research your target audience, and use online tools such as meme makers to connect with customers.
Ready to start building your business website? Reach out to Waking Girl Web Design to talk about a plan.
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Maybe you’re excited about your company’s progress in recent months, but you’re curious about how you can push your business forward. Digital transformation might be the answer! By investing in digital innovation, like revamping your company’s website with Waking Girl Web Design, you can achieve and even exceed your business goals. Here’s how to take on digital transformation initiatives for your company.
Focus on Business Process Management
Your processes dictate the way your business runs - and if your processes are not as efficient as they could be, you’ll inevitably waste time and lose out on revenue. But what is business process management? Through business process management, you can automate and optimize processes and move your business forward through digital transformation. By explaining to your employees that this will allow them to tackle projects faster, you’ll be able to gain buy-in from your team. As you create your company’s BPM framework, you’ll need to continue monitoring its effectiveness as time goes on so that you can make changes if necessary.
Choose Tech With Great Support
No matter what kind of technology you’re thinking about investing in, you don’t want to choose programs that lack customer support. After all, if you’re having an issue with your software, you need to be able to get in touch with someone who can help you remedy the problem. Prior to purchasing any new software or hardware, connect with their customer service department and ask a few questions to gauge the effectiveness of their support services.
Explore Cloud Computing
Why are cloud systems so essential for businesses these days? They allow you to store and organize your digital files, and ensure that your team can access the documents they need even when they’re away from the office. Investing in a cloud storage system will definitely make it easier for your team to collaborate on projects. Centrilogic also states that cloud computing can support agile processes, help you cut overall costs, and allow you to scale your business since you can always purchase more storage space if necessary.
Use Helpful Software
If you haven’t already onboarded your team onto project management software and customer relationship management software, now is the time to take care of it! Choosing the right versions of these software can be a complicated decision. It’s important to figure out exactly which functions and features your company will need, so talk to other business owners who run companies of a similar size. Ask them which programs they use, if they would recommend these systems, and which features their team relies on most heavily.
Apply Data Analytics
By using the right software, you can collect valuable data that allows you to make crucial decisions about your company’s future. How can data analytics benefit your business? Treehouse Technology Group states that your data can reveal which processes are actually supporting your business as intended, how your customers behave, where you need to make improvements, and what kinds of actions you can take to change your business for the better.
When your business is run with technology, there is so much potential data that you can collect - and if you’re not already gathering this data, you might be missing out on key knowledge about your company. Therefore, data collection should be of the utmost importance.
Digital transformation is a major undertaking. But embracing digital innovation can help you rack up entrepreneurial accomplishments that you didn’t even realize were possible before. With these tips, you’ll be inspired to start incorporating innovative digital changes into your company!
Are you ready to drive serious business growth? Turn to Waking Girl Web Design for support! Call us today at 775-544-6612 to learn more about what we can do for your company.
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When Waking Girl first started, we said YES to every customer who came through our door. Whether the project or client fit us or not, we made it work. Now, with a full clientele, we are limited on how much time we can dedicate to a client who struggles to be successful with us.
You may have just taken a pop quiz to see if you qualify to work with us. If you're curious about the answers we were hoping for, read on! You do not need to see your business and website the way we do. No pressure! :)
Q. A business must have a website to sell products or services:
We believe a business does not need a website to sell products or services. While a website can greatly increase sales and credibility, early deals and relationships can occur offline. Our most successful clients made their early transactions before ever having a website. We have found that many new business owners rely solely on their websites to generate sales. It is important to use multiple avenues to sell products and services, especially at the beginning stages of a business.
Q. The most important purpose of a website is to:
CORRECT: Generate leads and sales
We see business owners fail in their websites because they are more focused on making the website perfectly match their favorite color, than making it bring in $ales. This is a mistake! When clients follow our design direction, they generally see an immediate increase in sales and leads. Why? We have developed a method that make it easy for your customers to reach you!
Impress customers: studies continue to show that impressive websites don't always bring in new customers and sales. We want you to be proud of your website, but we also want your company to be approachable.
Display logo and brand: yes, we want to display your logo and brand. This goal is secondary to generating leads and sales.
Reduce my taxes: yes! Your website is a business expense! We love helping you reduce your tax burden!
Q. A business owner should take advice about web design from:
CORRECT: The web designer they hired
Intuition: can be super helpful. Let us know what your gut is telling you.
Business partner and/or staff: can be super helpful, but can also be distracting. Ask abstract questions of business partners, staff, family early in the process, like, "How do you want to feel when you visit our website? How do you want our new customers to feel when they visit the website?" Avoid specifics about design elements, colors, etc.
Articles: can be super helpful, but can also come across like you're micro-managing your web design team.
Q. A website is like a car and needs regular refueling and maintenance.
We believe a website is like a car and needs regular refueling and maintenance. Absolutely, yes! The trends of the web are changing faster than the rules of the road--and a website needs to be able to keep up. We utilize platforms and strategies that allow for easy updates and full site overhauls as the technological demands of a website, company and The Internet change.
Q. A business will fail if any piece of it is not running perfectly at all times.
We believe that growing companies do have a few failing pieces at any given time. Only the companies that have become stagnant have perfection in all areas of the business. To grow requires some trial and error. We access the knowledge base of hundreds of business owners to mitigate the risk of failure for our clients and decrease the time it takes to correct an error. We love working with growing businesses.
Q. My website budget is:
$1000/year to $1000/month
Programs also available for $1000/week website marketing budgets!
We believe it's important to have a budget for your website. While it doesn't need to be a major expenditure, a small, monthly amount of at least $100 can really help a website keep up with the changes in technology.
We strive to work with companies that we can help, by taking "web presence" off the plate of the CEO. We are a full-service agency and can handle everything from website rebuilds to maintenance to SEO and Facebook presence.
Do you qualify? We would love to hear more about your website--what's working for you now, what's not working; what's frustrating, and what about Waking Girl prompted you to reach out?
In order to bring consistency to one of our favorite websites, we created a form for the client to fill out for inputting new information. The website features different Tours, and departure and arrival times are key to the operation. We were getting inconsistent formatting in the times (2pm, 2PM, 2:00 PM, 2:00 AM, 2ish) and a typical Date/Time field didn't give us the programming functionality needed to automate other features of the website.
Who knew it would be so hard to Google a list of times for a dropdown menu? I share this list here for anyone else who was trying to find a simple list of times to include in a form! Copy/paste at will!
5 Different Time Choices to Choose From:
To combine any of these columns, copy/paste each set into ONE column in an Excel sheet. Then sort!
Paste into Notepad to keep the list format. Then paste into your website.
Need to include some HTML? Do a Replace-All in Notepad:
Replace with: AM <br><li>
Replace with: PM <br><li>
Are you feeling neglected by your web designer? Feeling like you have to send 5 emails before you get a response? Panic setting in? Please take a look at these helpful tips that will give more insight to the world behind the computer screen and how to snap your fingers and get your web designer's attention--every time.
1) If your web designer is awesome, he/she receives at least 50-200 emails a day. These aren't annoying subscription emails; these are emails that need to be read, handled and responded to. Put concise instructions and a deadline in your subject line. Example: Add new events to Parade.com before July 4
2) Do not use the subject line "website."
3) Avoid small talk in the opening lines. Pretend your web designer will only read the first sentence. Make it count.
4) Praise your web designer with every new request! Tell your web designer that their hard work IS working.
We got 5 new clients today from our website! We want to add 3 fields to our contact form to process new clients faster. So excited this is working so well!!"
See how it sounds when you don't praise?
Why isn't the phone number field in our contact form? That should have been in there from the beginning. Now we have 5 clients with no phone number. We better add Birth date and Country fields, too.
5) Keep emails to ONE or TWO requests. Web designers want to feel productive. If they can handle a task in 5-10 minutes, they'll jump on it. Long lists of requests should be reserved for new projects or scheduled updates.
6) Put content directly into the email instead of attaching documents. If your web designer has to download and open a program just to read your update it will fall to the bottom of the to-do list.
7) If the budget and pricing has not been pre-arranged, include what you're willing to pay for the work. This will give the web designer an immediate incentive and save on the back and forth of negotiations. Example: I can pay $75 for this update.
8) Web designers love your audience and want to please. Use real deadlines like: Website will be shown at Conference on June 17; need updates completed by June 16.
9) Always offer to pay in advance. Web designers will often under-quote a project not realizing the work involved. To feed the family they may let your project drop to the bottom of the list and turn to the pre-paid clients. Clients who pre-pay allow the web designer to focus JUST on them!
10) Don't be picky until it counts. Web designers work with MANY customers; they focus on the emergency projects first. If your website hasn't launched yet because you can't decide between Lato and Roboto fonts, you are not a top priority. The top priority is the guy who is processing $15k+ on his website every month and the credit card processing company just went down, or the gal who is hosting a big event tomorrow and is doing a last-minute Facebook campaign to drive ticket sales. When your website is highly trafficked and bringing in sales, you can be picky!
11) Give 5 star reviews! If your experience is less than 5 stars, tell them gently and give them an opportunity to improve!
12) Always preface with: I'm not sure if I'm asking this the right way but... Web designers get bombarded with questions that do not make technical sense. It is really hard to answer an incorrect question if the client isn't willing to be educated. When a client confesses their lack of computer knowledge, it opens the door for education and will get you lots of free services. Web designers like being experts! And they like to help!! Know-it-alls put web designers in a corner, and their simple requests turn into challenging accusations.
13) Edit the text for us! Instead of describing the proof reading edits, just go ahead and make them.
How to do it:
Go to the page that you want to edit.
Copy the text.
Paste the text into an email.
Edit the text.
Change subject line to: Please replace text on ABOUT YOU page with text below.
The steps above will make this a 5 minute job instead of a 50 minute brain-numbing English 101 exercise.
14) Ask how your web designer prefers to receive large or mass amounts of files. Waking Girl despises Dropbox, and instead offers an easy upload widget on their website.
15) Give your web designer creative license! A web designer is an artist; they will pour energy and time into your project if it is their artistic work and something they can proudly show in their portfolio!