Category: Digital

website makeover
Digital

A Business New Year Resolution to Follow: A Website Makeover

Internet marketing opportunities have been growing at faster rates every year, and the importance of your website is higher than ever. Your website is how you tell your business’s story to current and future customers. It should be the one-stop shop for everything that has to do with your business. From finding information, to portraying your brand, to showing off your awesome work, your website is always going to be one of the first places internet browsers stop when searching for information and more regarding you and your business. While making sure your website is modern, cleanly designed, and well-kept with your brand is very important, there also are so many things that lie beneath the surface of your website that can make a huge difference with viewings, time spent on your pages, and the overall usability of your site. Here’s a few of our tips to making sure your website is better than ever this New Year:

1. Authentic and Updated Branding and Content
Make sure your branding, color scheme, photos, and content are updated and authentic to the story you’re trying to tell your potential customers. Some of the most common problems with business webpages are outdated material and branding. Using a modern, current logo and adding less stock photos and more authentic material coming straight from your business gives visitors a reason to stay and explore your page. In addition to graphic content and on-brand color schemes, making sure the information about your business is always updated (e.g., your address, mission, “About Us” pages, products, and customer testimonials, etc.) ensures visitors of your page have all the correct information they need to make that important connection with you as a seller.

2. Load Speeds
Slow load times are huge when a visitor views a webpage for the first time. In a world of instant gratification and 4G LTE speeds, people can be quite impatient…as in, 4 seconds being far too long impatient. The difference of making a sale or not can absolutely rely upon your site’s load speeds. Not only that, your business’s SEO rating can also drop due to poor load speeds. Regularly monitoring how fast your site loads, seeing how easy it is to navigate in a timely manner, making regular improvements to your site’s load speed is essential when considering what needs to be changed beneath the exterior layers of your website.

3. Security
Does your website have an SSL certificate? If not, 2018 is your year to get one. An SSL certificate creates a safe space for customers to make connections via purchase, information transfers, location services, etc., while browsing your site. The last thing you would want in the New Year is to land your business in hot water over misappropriate information of a customer because your website was not secured. Check out our previous blog regarding SSL certificates to learn more!

4. Include Your Social Media Buttons
With millions of users around the world, it’s no lie that social media has become a prominent piece of most modern people’s lives. If your business has social media accounts, that’s great. But is everyone interested in your business aware of that? Placing buttons for your social media handles seems like a simple task, but doing so allows users to build connections between all of the content released about your business. This is another small fix that can yield large results with the communication between you and your customer.

5. Responsive Design
According to the web analytics firm, StatCounter, mobile and tablet browsing overtook desktop browsing for the first time in 2016 with 51.3% of taking place via mobile technology; and, that number has been growing every single year since. So, it’s crucial to consider whether your site works efficiently on all browsing platforms. Making your site responsive not only makes your webpage easier to view, but it also opens your site to a wider daily audience. Not being able to view or use your webpage on a mobile phone can be frustrating to consumers looking for quick information, which can, at times, make them question your site’s professionalism and legitimacy.

BG Digital Group can help you bring your website back to life in 2018 by updating and adding all the points discussed above. We understand exactly what it takes to design a website worth visiting and worth exploring. From security, to graphic design, to load speeds, we have you covered every step of the way to making your site modern, user-friendly, and tailored to your business’ brand. If you’re ready to make your website better than ever, contact us today to get started.

Posted by admin
Rebrand your business
Digital Social Traditional

Rebranding 101: When Is It the Right Time to Rebrand Your Business?

Rebranding 101: When Is It the Right Time to Rebrand Your Business?

There could be many reasons why it’s time for a rebrand of your business, whether it be to reach a new customer following, perhaps your business has outgrown its previous brand, maybe the market is outgrowing your business, or the old imagery of who you are just doesn’t hit home any longer. Whatever the case may be, rebranding your business across all mediums takes time and calculation, whether your business is B2B or B2C. Some of the largest marketing fiascos of all time come from poor rebranding, and at BG Digital Group, we realize how important it is to create a careful brand that’s worth remembering. Below are some of our thoughts to consider when initiating a company rebrand.

What Is Your Brand and How Does It Affect Your Business?
Essentially, your brand defines your business’ identity. To many, branding is simply the words, images, taglines, and campaigns associated with your business, and while that is partially true, there is something much deeper to successful branding. Quite literally, every single thing your business produces is a part of your overall brand, whether it is a logo or a social media post. Truly successful branding will make a potential customer remember and feel a certain way about your business. Creating a meaningful brand begins with building a clear voice to consumers that they enjoy and recognize so easily there is a natural association. You cannot do this simply through posting a logo or writing an editorial about your business. It takes time, creativity, manpower, and cohesive content… lots and lots of content.

The Greatest Brands of Our Time and What Makes Them Great
Great brands are so ingrained in the consumer’s mind that while just driving down the road at 70+ mph, someone can likely see an image and know what lies behind the next exit. How long did that consumer likely look at the road sign? 3-4 seconds. Some of the greatest brands of our time have evolved to become household logos, names, and products simply by their branding.

For example, Apple Inc. did a major rebrand prior to the launch of the first iPhone that showed they were a sleek company of virtual simplicity. Apple didn’t just stop at their logos; they brought their stores, products, packaging, webpages, social media, and even their customer service to the next level of brand cohesiveness. Apple stores are all white space with stainless finishes and tempered glass throughout. Sound familiar? Their products fit that branding design concept too. Their boxes are simple and white, their customer service is astoundingly simple, and every single store looks the same. When you visit Apple, either through their website or at their stores, you know exactly what to expect. Apple is solid proof that successful branding doesn’t just stop at logos and ad campaigns, it encompasses every single piece of the business, making a consumer unconsciously know the brand.

When Is It Time to Rebrand?
There could be a vast amount of reasons why it’s time to rebrand, and some are more positive than others. The best thing to understand before rebranding is that there is no set timeline for a rebrand. Your business could have launched just a few months ago, and it could be time for a rebrand. If your target market is ignoring you, if you feel your product doesn’t seamlessly fit with your brand, or if your market has not received your brand the way you had originally hoped are all reasons for a quick recalibration in direction. Rebranding can be done in steps over time, so testing the waters by changing a few things here and there is also a positive until you feel you have hit your stride. Your business also might want to consider a rebrand if your business has outgrown a dated branding identity. It takes years of unhinged success to create a “classic brand” i.e. Coca-Cola, Tropicana Orange Juice, Gap Inc., etc. For most companies, it’s all about following trends and understanding an ever-changing marketplace. If your business is successful but dated, a rebrand could delight your customers and be a great way to remind them of your company’s long history of successes.

BG Digital Group can help rebrand your business across every medium, whether through print, social media, video production, content creation, and more. From creating logos, redesigning a website, producing content, publishing eye-catching targeted ads, and following a cohesive, brand-central marketing plan, we boast a great team that can help every step of the way. Contact us today to help you launch the new face of your business with your unforgettable brand.

Posted by admin
rebranding
Digital Social

5 Tips To Start Your New Year Off in the Right Marketing Direction

Is your business ready to overhaul its marketing plan? Starting off the New Year by planning a brand-new marketing plan is a great opportunity to rebrand, gain a wider reach, and get more business and more customers. We understand how difficult it can be to start planning your new marketing strategy. There are so many pieces to the marketing puzzle, but we have prepared a quick list of some of the most important items to focus on while planning for 2018.

1. Understand Your Brand
One of the most important areas of concern when beginning a new marketing plan is making sure you understand your brand and that it meets the image you’re trying to portray to your followers and customers. Is your logo modern and neat? Is your current brand in line with your business goals and image? Could you change your brand to meet your image goals? These questions are most important when thinking about whether it’s time to make some changes.

2. Creating Meaningful Content
One of the tips that has developed over time is that the more content your business shares with others, the better off your online rankings will be in the long-run. Making sure you have a long range plan of meaningful and engaging content will make your marketing strategy much easier to execute. Having a good idea of what content your business wants to produce, how you want to make the content, and how you want to share it with your potential and current customers makes being able to produce meaningful content easier, more concisely, and in the image of your business’ brand.

3. Overhaul Your Social Media
Overhauling your social media presence can be one of the easiest ways to make connections with possible customers and establish a voice for your business. Great goals to set when thinking about how and why you want to revamp your business’ social media plan are gaining followers, increasing engagement rates, and promoting webpage traffic. While increasing the numbers of your follower counts is not just important for your business’ brand awareness, it’s important for your conversion rates, generation of leads, and engagement rates. By gaining followers with the sharing of meaningful content, you gain more traffic to your business webpages, which can eventually be turned into true engagement with your posts. The wider your reach, the better chances you have to finding who your most promising leads will be for the rest of the year.

4. Webpage Traffic
Is your website easy to navigate, modern in design, informative, always updated, and parallel to your business’ voice? Having a great webpage can not only bring more visitors, but it makes them stay longer on your site and get to know your business and brand. In addition to making sure your site is both enjoyable and easy to use, continuous blogging and content additions are extremely important when deciding how to improve your website. Adding content regularly to your webpage is extremely helpful to increasing SEO and site rankings. Building SEO takes a good amount of time and a large amount of content, so starting off early is a great way to reach your goals by the end of the year.

5. Email Marketing
One of the greatest ways to reach possible customers efficiently is by using email marketing. Making a cohesive email marketing plan early on in the year will make following your plan easier and making edits to your plan more feasible. Using a variety of email ideas and plans will allow you to see what your subscribers enjoy reading and what attracts new subscribers. Being able to merge a redesign of your webpage, social media, and email marketing strategy allows for an easier plan to drive new subscribers, making for easier lead generation. Email marketing directly interacts with your consumers, making for higher conversion rates and repeated visitors to your pages.

While all of these focuses can lead to a great marketing plan for the new year, the most important detail to consider when trying to intensively redo a marketing plan is making sure that your goals are attainable and not overly aggressive. Gaining online recognition, a higher search engine ranking, and a large list of followers takes time to achieve, and the first step to achieving great marketing goals is realizing what is truly attainable.

BG Digital Group is a Google Partner digital marketing agency located in eastern North Carolina. We understand what it takes to create a modern, effective marketing plan, and we’re ready to take on the New Year with you and make a difference in your business’ success. From North Carolina website design, to logos, to social media management and content creation, we can do it all from top to bottom, exactly how you need. Contact us today to begin making your personal list of goals a reality this New Year.

Posted by admin
hacking
Digital

Hacking: Is Your Website at Risk?

Being hacked is pretty common. From large-scale companies to small businesses, everyone remains a target to online hackers devoting their time to stealing information and money from innocent online users every day. Take a look at our SSL Encryption Blog regarding how many hacking attempts go down every day. Hint: it’s a lot. So, how do you keep your site safe?

 

Updates!
Hackers simply go with the flow when it comes to intensifying their skills. Every day software companies release security enhancement updates to not only better their products, but also outsmart the savvy hacker. Keep everything on your site, computer, and mobile devices up-to-date at all times, and you’ll have a much lower chance of a cyber-attack.

 

SSL Encryptions
We’ve already mentioned this a good bit, but SSL encryptions are a great way to make sure your business is secure and all the information that flows in and out of your business is locked down and secure.

 

Secure your Passwords
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to internet security. Making sure your passwords are random, somewhat lengthy, and including symbols and capitalized letters can throw hackers pretty easily. Be creative and random! An example of a great password would be, x!Gh72T?.

 

Make Sure Your Site Has Security Plug-ins
Webpage creation and host engines, like WordPress, allow your business to buy or download a plethora of security plug-ins and add-ons to your site to ensure it’s safe and protected. Beware of rip-off security systems though, some of these do very little for your business, but cost a pretty penny.

 

BG Digital Group has a web development team that can help you meet your needs and protect your webpage. Whether it be adding plug-ins, SSL certificates, or monitoring updates, we have you covered! Call us today to see how we can help protect your webpage.

Posted by Callie Garrett
local search
Digital

How Local Search Directories Help People to Find You

The days of the traditional phonebook have come and gone, but people still need some ways to find your business. Today, people rely on searching the internet, specifically Google, for your information, to identify business locations, details, and ratings. From Google, oftentimes Yelp!, Yellowpages (YP.com), Trip Advisor, and Google Listings are the first pages to pop up in the search engine results. These pages feature some of the best content about your business, including links, in-depth reviews, directions, and more.

 

Here’s a few reasons why listing your business on these directories can seriously benefit your business’ online footprint:

 

Increasing SEO
Having your business listed in online search directories is one of the fastest ways to boost your SEO rating other than the time-consuming method of creating content. Reviews featuring keywords, mobile optimization, and listing of true facts and details regarding your business, including its address, phone number, etc., all highly contribute to SEO on Google, and can help your business move to the top in terms of search results. Make sure your information is always up to date!

 

Credibility
People have come to trust and heavily rely on sites like Yelp! and TripAdvisor for important information regarding using a business. In fact, according to CNN Money, most people prefer reading reviews on third-party websites more than on the actual business site that’s owned and managed by the business.

 

Increased Visibility
This reason makes the most sense when thinking about how search directories can benefit your business. If your page is listed on many more sites than just your own, it’s inevitable that your name will pop up more often after being searched on traditional search engines. In fact, you can have your site listed on over forty sites easily, making your business name and information pop up constantly.

 

Interested in getting your name out on these sites? Give BG Digital Group a call today. We can help you get your business listed quickly and accurately. This can be time-consuming because you want to make sure that all information is accurate regarding your business on every platform, but let us pick up the slack and get this done for you. In time, your business will be filling the search results and bringing in new customers.

Posted by Callie Garrett
blogs
Digital

Blogs and Emails: How Do You Know Your Target Audience is Reading?

Creating a successful blog or email campaign is about one thing:  content. Here are a few tips to help make your emails and blogs reader-friendly and visually appealing, while helping your business’ SEO and rating on Google.

 
Using Plug-In’s and Automated Email Software
There are a lot of great marketing monitoring tools to help you and your advertising agency monitor how your content is performing, what people are reading, and how you can improve your SEO rating. For blogging, Yoast is a great tool to utilize keywords within blogs, perfect blog titles, manage URLs, and perfect meta descriptions for every bit of content on your website. Another great program for monitoring email performance, sending mass emails, and creating new content for emails is MailChimp. With MailChimp, you can utilize social media, content creation, and data analysis all within one single program.

 
It’s All About the Content
Now that you can track how your content is performing on multiple platforms using plugins and ad software, you need to create sharable content. What does this mean? It means keywords, originality, and links galore. Ensuring relevant keywords pop up in all your webpage content, whether it be blogs, emails, or copy on your website, is absolutely essential to a great SEO rating on Google. The key is making sure your content has keywords and links but, more importantly, that those keywords are original to your company and flow naturally for the reader . Repeated, unoriginal content with weak headlines will guarantee a low-open and click-through rating for your blogs and emails.

 

BG Digital Group creates visually appealing and engaging content that continually helps our clients have a competitive advantage. Blogs and email marketing work best in tandem with blogs providing readers timely and relevant content that emails further promote through clickable links leading back to the client’s website.

 

Our team knows exactly what it takes to receive a great SEO rating, and we have all the tools and programs to do it. Our experts can connect your site with Yoast and manage your MailChimp account, while explaining how you can track and create your own content using these platforms. Call us today to talk about your options for both blogging and email automation; we have all the right ideas to make your marketing matter.

Posted by Callie Garrett
web hosting
Digital

What You Should Expect When Having an Agency Host Your Webpage

One of the most unanticipated, but most important, expenses that businesses will need to plan for is a web hosting cost. While it may seem like an expensive cost when starting up a webpage or switching over a current page, it’s crucial to your business page’s performance, security, backups, and much more.  Your webpage is undoubtedly one of the most important pieces of your digital footprint and presence. It’s where people go to find information, how people search for your company, and overall a go-to place for promoting your business. So, what is hosting all about, and why is it a good idea to host with an agency? Here are a few reasons:

Security

This is perhaps the most alluring benefit to hosting your webpage with an agency. A recent study conducted by Sophos Security found that 30,000 websites are hacked daily. In fact, Google found that in the past year daily hackings have risen by 32% from that number. Moral to the story? Hackers are getting better at their unfortunate jobs. Hosting on large-scale programs or using free hosting services puts your webpage at risk for hacking due to a lack of strong firewalls and built-in sophisticated server security programs. Premium agency hosting platforms have all of the latest security advancements to keep your webpage safe and sound.

 

Performance

Using a large-scale free or reasonable hosting service can slow down your page significantly due to the volume of sites they currently host, making your website SEO rating on Google plummet. According to ForbesTech, people, on average, will abandon websites that take more than two seconds to load. Using an agency host can ultimately reduce load times by over 50%, making premium hosting a no-brainer.

 

Customer Service

Hosting with an agency allows you to have direct communication with the person in control of your website. This alone is a premium benefit because if anything goes awry, or if you have questions, this issue will be addressed immediately. Hosting with free or large hosting companies is like dealing with any corporate company: lots of waiting and little resolution.

 

Boosting your webpage rating is largely important when trying to increase the profitability of your marketing budget. We can increase load speeds, keep your information safe and secure, and much more. Add this important step to your marketing plan and call BG Digital Group to discuss your web hosting options today.

Posted by Callie Garrett
price and budget
Digital

Why Price Shouldn’t Be Your Deciding Factor

You know you need to hire a marketing agency. However, is there room in the budget? This is a very common concern for most small businesses with tight budgets, but price doesn’t necessarily determine the best performance.

 

A good advertising agency will work with your budget, no matter how small, to deliver big results and growth for your business. In digital advertising, it’s important to consider that you may not need a large budget to generate strong results.  With a strong digital advertising strategy you’ll be able to test what works, observe performance, and change your budget to maintain an optimal level of success and payback.

Now that you know price is a flexible concept when hiring a marketing agency or advertising agency, a big question remains: how should you execute a plan? Before meeting with an agency, it’s important to hash out your company’s marketing needs and budget limitations. Here’s some of the essential questions to have answered before you walk into your first consultation:

What are your budget constraints? It’s very important to be realistic here because this is the benchmark for how much an agency will be able to do for your business.
What are your long term and short-term goals for marketing your business?
What specific items need to be addressed in your marketing plan? Do you need help with your social media marketing? Digital marketing and advertising? Public relations assistance? If you don’t have a focused marketing plan, take time to draft one to highlight your priorities.
Ask about results. How will you know a agency’s services are bringing you new business?
How will you and your firm communicate results and troubleshooting? Is there a reliable point of contact who will always be there to help?

 

 

At BG Digital, we work within your budget to create a lasting impact on your business’ growth. We look at every aspect of your business, big or small, and work to create a digital advertising plan that’s relevant and suited for your budget. We have digital advertising gurus experienced in Google AdWords, digital ad design, and social media management, and they’ll be ready to help you set a budget, stick to it, and get results. Call us today to talk about your options and let us help you get started on a digital advertising campaign that is perfect for your business.

Posted by Callie Garrett
Digital

How Do You Know When It’s Time for a Website Refresh?

Your webpage is the most important information source for potential and current customers. On average, according to the Nielson Norman Research Group, users will leave a webpage in 10-20 seconds if the page is not considered interesting or valuable to their online mission. If it’s been 3-5 years (or even less), since you’ve last updated your site, it may be time for a website refresh. After all, your webpage is home to the largest amount of information regarding your business.

Not sure if it’s time to revamp your page? Here are a few reasons you may need to consider a website refresh today:

Your Brand and Information Is Not Up-to-Date
This is the most important part of updating a website. Since you could have hundreds of potential customers viewing your page every day, it’s important to ensure that every single piece of information is current and reflects exactly what you want visitors to see. Having old information or an expired brand identity can cause your customers to lose trust in your business or get confused about what your business is all about.
It’s Outdated
Not only is outdated information detrimental to your online presence, so is having a traditional, dated design. With this, it’s important to make sure your page is appealing, modern, and easy to use, including ensuring your page is mobile friendly. In fact, StatCounter Global Stats, a web analytics service, claims that mobile page views of the world’s websites surpassed desktop page views.

Your Website’s Traffic and SEO is Declining
Finally, let’s talk about growth. Are you able to track the statistics of your website? If not, that’s one of the first things that should be addressed in a website update. You need to be able to see who is coming to your site, where they’re coming from, and how long they stay. A higher SEO rating places your webpage higher on Google’s search listings, increasing your traffic over time. If you can track your SEO and web traffic already, any sight of significant decline may suggest that you need an update.

BG Digital Group has all the expert advice and help you need to kick start a website update ASAP. From making a new website from scratch, to editing information, to re-branding a site, even hosting information, we have you covered. Give our website development and digital marketing experts a call or visit our website to see what we can do improve your business’ website.

Posted by Callie Garrett
SSL Certificate
Digital

Better Safe Than Sorry: SSL Certificates

In a recent study, the FBI found that there are 4,000 ransomware hacking attempts every day. These hacks are particularly alarming to business owners, as some of them are committed against customers visiting ecommerce sites. How can you protect yourself and customers? BG Digital Group has an easy answer: SSL Certificates.

What are SSL Certificates? 
SSL Certificates are a standard way to encrypt your webpage to protect users from having their sensitive information stolen or tampered with by hackers. Adding an SSL Certificate to a website guarantees that the site is authentic (not a fake landing page controlled by hackers), ensures all the data coming in and out of the site is protected with encryption, and increases load speeds for all of your pages. With an SSL Certificate, not only will your page visitors know your site is secure, Google knows too. Adding a certificate will help your page’s SEO rating on Google, putting your page higher on the list of search results.

Owning your own business can be a great pleasure, allowing yourself more flexibility, time, and control, but with those things comes great responsibility. You wouldn’t want to provide your customers with products that may place them at risk, for your own good and theirs. Being trusted by your customers is important, and the last thing you would want is someone’s precious personal information being exploited by hackers because of a visit to your business’ webpage.

In an ideal world, every site should have an SSL Certificate, as dealing with hackers is never a fun thing to deal with. Any website that collects information, whether it be logins, medical records, legal documents, ecommerce transactions, or even simple contact forms needs to be encrypted to protect against ever-evolving hacking tactics.

 

 

Lucky for you, BG Digital Group can get you the protection both you and your customers need and deserve. For an annual fee of $100, you can add an SSL Certificate to your site, which would include the padlock in the search bar (as pictured) and security against information hackers. Don’t wait for a hacker to prey upon you or your customers. The extra money is worth saving you from having to explain why a customer’s card was compromised or worse. Give us a call today, and we can add the encryption in no time.

Posted by Callie Garrett