Archive for the ‘Business Development’ Category

Starting a new business is hard, and as any entrepreneur knows, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed with decisions and to-dos.  It’s time to delegate an essential part of your business: your website and marketing!

Why Hire a Website Designer? I Can Do That Myself.

True! You can create a website entirely by yourself, and there are many starter platforms to do it on – we highly recommend creating your own site as a starting point. However, as your business grows in size, your website will need to scale too.

Often taking your site to the next level requires a bigger platform, obtaining new IT tech, and creating massive amounts of thoughtful, targeted content. This can be a big task, especially if you’re not well versed in marketing and SEO concepts.

Hiring website design experts, especially those who have years of experience working within the industry, ultimately can save you time, money and headache by handling those tasks for you in a more effective way.

I Don’t Have the Budget to Hire a Web Designer

Not always true! Different companies have different pricing, overhead, and techniques, so pricing of websites can vary greatly. In truth, most websites cost very little to purchase, but the real value comes in having the expertise of someone who has created hundreds of websites.

While we do recommend your business be in the position that it has an established marketing budget, you’d be surprised how much return you can get by hiring a small team of experts to accomplish your business website’s design, creation, and goals.

Your Brand and Your Style Are Important!

Every industry is highly competitive. Brand recognition and placement can be the difference between a sale or being pushed to the bottom of the shelf, and your website and marketing design play a huge factor in perceived value.

You want your marketing and website to make your brand shine above the competitors and highlight your mission or intent with every step. The perception of a “nicer” product often leads to more sales, more recognition, and a wider reach.

Unless you’re well versed in design and marketing theory, hiring a professional website creator enables you to not only to take that workload off of your already busy schedule, but the results of investing in a higher-quality website and design product will show immediately in how much larger your brand seems when its professionally styled, managed and strategized.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Get your website in high gear and contact VectorDefector for a FREE marketing consultation today!

Using a website as your marketing tool has been a go-to for businesses for more than 20 years, but now more than ever, having a good website vs. one that just exists is practically a necessity for any start-up. It’s easy to build and put up a mediocre website, but what does that effort really get you?

Without working with an expert website creator or having some knowledge about competitive fine-tuning, the website you have may be underperforming and costing you business. These are the five most common issues we find from clients that come to us, many of which who already have a website.

#1 You Don’t Have Any Content

When it comes to getting recognized on major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, the truth is: content is key! The more you have to say, and the more spot-on that written content, social media posting, or video entry is to your businesses’ message is how people find you when they type their search phrase into the input box. Have multiple tiers of pages, posts, and videos explaining your products, your company’s goals, and how you relate to your customers.

Simply having a website does get your foot in the door, but that may be all it gets you. You need to frequently and consistently write, create, video, or design new content for your site on a weekly basis in order to stay ahead of the competition. Hire a content creator or social media influencer to help you build if you don’t have the time!

#2 You’re on an old, slow platform or have no mobile support

Yes, it’s possible to be falling behind even with a well-thought-out and well-executed content campaign! Technology moves fast, and so does people’s expectations. If your website is slow, buggy, broken on mobile, or just functioning improperly, your visitors will move on quickly. Start-up businesses often buy into low monthly payments or starter web packages, but these low-value products are often made for wide audiences and come with a lot of bloat and unnecessary bells and whistles.

Working with a professional website creator can not only take that job out of your busy entrepreneur hands, but it can also help you optimize your site to flow better for your visitors and render better results on search engines and for mobile devices which are a huge part of the marketplace.

#3 You’ve let your blog or your menus get outdated

In any industry your competition moves as fast, so content and product menus are easy to lose track of. However, if you’re not keeping your content up to date, it’s common for visitors to assume you’re no longer in business or simply don’t carry what they’re looking for.

In the information age, searching is ideally the easiest way for your visitors to locate what they’re shopping for, but if your website is not showing them what you have, you’re likely getting visits from people who won’t be coming back.

#4 Your website design sucks

Let’s be honest; in 2019 visitors can tell the difference between a “good” website and a “bad” website. While we’re not saying you need to spend a fortune on your marketing, we do believe that having a stylish design that speaks to your company’s brand and values speaks bounds to your audience. This is often hard to accomplish without the help of an expert.

If visitors arrive at your site and it appears dated, low quality, or hard to navigate, customers may straight up assume you’re not making any money and move on to a bigger and sharper looking competitor. A large part of website marketing is making sure your brand represents exactly who you are and who you want your audience to think you aspire to be.

#5 You need search engine optimization

It’s true: a lot of websites are accomplishing all of the above just fine. They look good, function well, and have plenty of content, but they’re still falling behind competitors. Once your website hits this point, it’s often time for some fine-tuning for search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is a practice used specifically to net your website more traffic – either in general or to funnel the right audience to the right places. SEO practices can include things like:

  • speed optimizing your website for performance
  • making sure your page and link structure make sense from a user angle
  • re-working your content to make sure it has the right verbiage for your audience
  • creating a set of focus terms and phrases (keywords) that help match you with your visitors on Google and other search platforms better

Overall, having a website is essential to any new modern business – but simply owning one isn’t always the key to success. Make sure you hire the right team to bring the right strategy, SEO and content to your audience with every step.

 

Want to get the most out of your website? Contact the website design, SEO, and marketing experts at VectorDefector for a FREE consultation!

Search Engine Optimization has been around since the late 90s when brands like Google, Yahoo! and AOL were first building their tools for skimming the rapidly growing internet. Now synonymous with “look it up,” the biggest search engine, Google, has developed some pretty sophisticated ways to determine how to serve up the best website match to the keywords you type into the little box at the top of your screen.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of fine-tuning your website’s content in order to float higher up on the results returned by Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others. There’s a number of different things that factor in, like:

  • How well your website’s address matches the search phrase
  • How old your website is / how many years it’s been online consistently
  • How much written content you have (ex. pages or blog articles), and what percentage of that content matches the keyword or phrase (important!)
  • How many people or other websites subscribe to or link to your website
  • How much social media traffic you have
  • Pay-for-click ads that give you a boost when people find you using certain keywords

For new businesses, SEO practices are a bit more challenging. One of the biggest issues for start-ups is that most major search engines favor traffic, which is hard to obtain when you’re brand new. Saturation becomes another problem. Google is still working on ways to reduce “search engine overload,” or the problem you get when you can’t find what you’re searching for even though you know what keywords to type.

For that reason, practices like “organic” SEO have become far more successful for start-ups. Organic SEO is the concept of writing genuine content for your site consistently while simultaneously being conscious of your audience, your message and your keywords for search results. Organic SEO can be a bit trickier since it requires a bit of writing skill, patience, and a knack for tracking stats. Start-up businesses benefit from organic SEO the most for a variety of reasons. New business’s customers in particular value a brand’s integrity and its commitment to the community – this is a perfect opportunity to generate content that shows off your industry expertise and your interactions with your customers.

Also, while social media is a prominent way to gain traction, they are just a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to creating a quality online sales funnel. A properly tuned, search engine optimized website being fed by active social media channels can be the monster lead generator you never know you could have; and it can all be automated for simplicity!

Overall, new businesses should pay attention to their web presence. The vast majority of customers will Google a business before making any decisions about it, and it’s a race to the top of the results. The right team, smart goals, and consistent effort could mean the difference between your sale and a competitor’s.

 

Looking to learn how to boost your SEO and/or improve your start-up business website?
Connect with VectorDefector today for expert marketing and search engine optimization consultation!

Good marketing has always been important to any business, but when you’re a start-up, your marketing and your brand can be the difference between success and failure.

To define it: your marketing is the process, means and materials you’re using to connect with your customers and the world to let them know you exist. Your brand is the visual representation of your company; it’s how people recognize that the product / location / advertisement they’re looking at is you and not a competitor. People tend to be more loyal to brands that represent their own values.

Start-up companies often make the mistake of assuming they don’t need to think about branding and marketing and that success is waiting to spill forward as soon as the doors are open and a “we’re open” sign is hung in the window. That’s not always the case.

Today’s online market is way more competitive because quality and loyalty to products and brands already on the market grow every day, and new start-ups are popping up in every conceivable market every minute.

In order to set yourself apart, you need to stand out. You also need to be able to quickly relate your message to your audience. Having a well designed logo, choice of colors, website that works on multiple devices, and written messaging that clearly states your style and mission goes a long way to letting customers know that you desire the same things in a product or service as they do and that you’re the company for them.

This can seem like a truly impossible task if you’ve never had experience with marketing!

Companies that have a strong recognizable brand, and that can continue to draw a crowd online and offline will be the ones who rise, and those who rely on simply being around or cling to an “old school” small audience appeal will quickly fade away.

 

Want to get your brand started today? Get online with VectorDefector today!

chipper-lowell-featured

Chipper.tv

Exuberant comedian/magician/entertainer Chipper Lowell contracted VectorDefector to deliver a brand new website designed and customized to reflect the excitement of his show, The Chipper Experience, and his brand. Based on an out-of-box WordPress theme, this lively, animated site focuses on Chipper’s audience experience, and his Corporate Experience specifically tailored for large audiences.

Focused on brand and “animated” experience, this mobile responsive website features: full customizable home page with animated slides, unique Review and Shows section, and blog / calendar events.

net-privacyOne of the biggest issues in the online marketing business is hacking. Hacking can come in the form of a computer virus, “spam” or tricky junk mail, “phishing” or even trickier junk mail that tricks you into giving away personal information, and plain old data theft.

In our experience, the number one way people get hacked is by simply having a bad password. There are a number of tools available to hackers that can make it very easy to “guess” a password. Once someone obtains your password, they may have access to any of your online data including private personal information and financial records.

Your best defense against hacking starts at the front line: having a secure password.

Here are a few quick tips on making sure your password is difficult to hack:

  • Make sure it has at least 12 characters. We know, the longer your password is, the harder it is to remember. We’ll give you some tips later for creating secure passwords that are also memorable.
  • Include a mix of numbers, letters and symbols. The more characters your password involves, the more combinations hackers and hacking programs have to iterate through to make a guess.
  • Make it more complex than a dictionary word (or words). A simple password like “house” or even “red house” isn’t going to cut it these days. Even simple substitutions like “r3d hou$e” can be easy enough for modern programs to crack.
  • Use a password generator that will create a secure password for you. Try a website like www.strongpasswordgenerator.com and let them create a secure password for you. This site also gives you phonetic memorization ideas (ex: “remember: alpha charlie echo three”).

The hardest passwords to guess can also be the easier to memorize. Passwords with equations or phrases maximize the length of your password plus give you a way to remember it:

  • Try using 6 words or more to create a “pass phrase”.
    Example: “Indiana Jones flies midnight frost wheat”. Phrasing is often easier to remember than a random combination of characters.
  • Try a combination of symbols and a pass phrase.
    Example: “!indina j0ne$ f7ies m!dnight 7rost w#eat”. The more complex your substitution gets, the harder the phrase is to guess.
  • Use a combination of all three to create a secure, easy to remember equation.
    Example “Yay$Fun==#FamVAca”. This we’d remember as “yay fun money is for hashtag family vacation”. Its personal but contains no private information that could be guessed like a birth date or your child’s name.

Try to use different password phrases for every site you create an account for. The more different, unique passwords you can have the better. At the minimum, have different passwords/pass phrases for social and sharing sites than you use for your important information like banking and work documents.

Unfortunately, due to the increase of hacking software, and the pure raw computing power available a memorable password is still susceptible to hacking. To ensure total security, use complete random passwords created by the password generator site above and use a different one for every login you have. To keep track of them, you can use software called “password managers” that keep track of your passwords for you. PCMag.com recently posted a list of top free password managers in an article on their website along with some that have more secure subscription services.

To conclude, keep your passwords secure and update them often!

In the long run, it will save you a lot of headache, strife, and possibly lost data by coming up with something thats just a little bit more difficult to remember, or by becoming more secure using a password manager.

EventRoost

EventRoost

Recently, I had the privilege of teaming up to complete some work for my friend and entrepreneur Michael Pellegrin, owner of the start-up EventRoost.com. EventRoost specializes in multi-platform event sharing: want people to know the date of your big game, night of your concert, or release of your big product? Take a look into: www.eventroost.com

VectorDefector aided in designing the brand new home page and slides to focus in EventRoost’s marketing pitch to new members and potential big event sharers (did someone say recording artist groups and sports teams?)

 

Responsive Designs

Responsive Designs

Responsive” is the latest and greatest buzzword in the web design world these days, and while many agencies are deciding to adopt it simply because of its demand, the theory of “responsive” design has actually been around for more than a decade. During the post-dot-com boom in the early 2000s when flat panel monitors rose to fame, many of the same concepts we use today were created. Overall, “responsive” design is the notion of creating websites that “respond” to different size screens, therefore presenting legible and visually pleasing experiences at any size.

Achieving a successful responsive design can often be difficult. Essentially, it requires the designer to create a single concept style that can be re-formed into up to a dozen different sizes. On top of that, it then becomes the developer’s responsibility to build the site to “snap” or change the physical size of its layout based on the user’s current screen size whether that is a 30″ flat panel, or a 3″ mobile screen. A great deal of understanding of good design, physical space, and straight web development knowledge are required to pull it off.

If you’re interested in learning more about creating a “responsive” website custom tailored to your brand and style, contact me today!

 

2014 Updates

2014 Updates

Wow! After a stressful 2013 and a fantastic 2014 (so far), its been a very long time since I’ve updated this website.

Starting this month, I’ll be launching a new series of updates and including new case-studies in my portfolio, the most interesting of which I’ll also be placing on the blog.

I’ve also recently launched a brand new version of this site’s theme. While its not a departure in design, it has been updated to be fully responsive for mobile, along with an entirely new streamlined method to develop my websites (both topics I’ll be delving into more later).

Cheers!

WP38About

WordPress 3.8 “Parker”

This week on Thursday, WordPress.org announced their release of their latest version, 3.8 “Parker”. Named after another famous jazz artist (Charlie Parker), this version of WordPress has received a major facelift to its administrative site.

Along with fixing a couple minor errors that probably only annoyed me, the WordPress crew has updated their admin to be more user friendly, updatable and more responsive to different device sizes.

This means even easier, faster, more effective content editing.

Since all VectorDefector.com WordPress themes and custom plugins are built using official WordPress coding standards, I highly encourage my clients to download and check out the new version for themselves!