Category Archives: Tips

Are You AMP’ed Up Yet?

Is Your Website Using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?
Is Your Website Using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?

Is your website AMP’ed? If it is you most certainly know that I am talking about Accelerated Mobile Pages, and Google loves them.

If you are not, it is relatively easy to create an AMP page template for your HTML website. Just follow some of these links to learn more and to see examples.

https://moz.com/blog/accelerated-mobile-pages-whiteboard-friday

https://www.ampproject.org/

If you have a WordPress website there are a number of great plugins you can use. I like the following:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/accelerated-mobile-pages/

https://wordpress.org/plugins/amp/

As AMP’ed websites are important from Google viewpoint and Google is actively showing AMP pages in the mobile index, it is important to know and understand why your website needs to embrace AMP now.

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SMS Scheduler Reviewed

Nancy McCord is a Google and Bing Partner
Nancy McCord is a Google and Bing Partner

SMS Scheduler is a productivity time saver for me. I wanted to share with you why I use it. No, I am not being paid by the app owner to write this. I am just a fan.

I have four remote working employees. Although we use TeamUp, my staff is busy and this is not a full-time job for them. I have found that by sending scheduled text messages about deadlines on a schedule and reminder notices on a schedule, I keep my remote staff focused on meeting my project deadlines.

I found the app for Android in the Google Play store. I am sure they have a version for iPhone as well. Make sure when you do your installation that you follow the brief but important instructions on how to override a setting so the app will work.

Here are several examples of texts I sent to my staff on specific due dates.

Your social media is in. Please have your loads done by Sunday night.

Make sure you do topics and loads today, as well as WordPress loads.

Please make sure you have updated TeamUp with a new date or mark your things as done.

My staff just finally figured out that I was using an automated messaging service, as I do change the messages. But for me, having reminders scheduled has allowed me to let go of some of the important follow up tasks and spend more time on client projects.

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Build It – Right, and They WILL Come

The Web is a very competitive place, but I would like to share with you a case study of a recent customer that highlights if a service is trending, the price is right, and the website is optimized, you can get clients via organic search.

I have client who was just starting a business. He had very little capital,  was selling local drone photography services, and was getting into a market that I felt was just starting to trend up.

My firm built him a website to showcase video and photos of projects and recent photo shoots. We optimized the site architecture, site content, page URLs and mentored him on keywords to use in his self-written content.

We used location specific keywords to help him place organically by county and state name using a smart use in his content and footer information.

On his side, he priced his services a tad below market average, and worked to offer more value than any other competitors.

As a result of our efforts combined with the client, business is growing and the phone is ringing, all without additional advertising.

The point I would like to make is that if the product is “right”, pricing is “right”, there is a need, then the smart use of keywords, content and location specificity can give free exposure that turns into sales and helps a brand new business get a footing from which to build.

To find out more about our services and how we can help you too, we invite you to visit our website to learn more.

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Introducing Our Summer Intern, William McCord

William McCord, Our Summer Intern
William McCord, Our Summer Intern

William McCord, my 20 year old son, has joined the firm for the summer in a Computer Science internship.

William is a rising Junior in Computer Science with an interest in programming, GIS, and cyber security at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

With a passion for computer programming, he is already helping to implement and tweak complex scripts for AdWords account management as well as fine-tuning his HTML and CSS skills for website design.

This summer, he will be focusing on WordPress management, site design customization, website security, mobile-friendly e-newsletters, and AdWords script programming.

He is a incredibly fast learner, innovative, and a hard worker. We are excited to welcome him into our office.

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The Trouble with Travel

The Trouble with Travel is Staying Connected.
The Trouble with Travel is Staying Connected.

Travel, it’s fun and exciting, but the trouble with travel is that internet and phone connectivity can bring your business to a halt fast!

Here’s How I Handle the Trouble with Travel

  1. Be prepared.
  2. Stay powered up with portable power packs.
  3. Make sure you have a mobile phone Travel Pass.
  4. Review connectivity in your destinations.
  5. Be prepared to pay for Internet access at hotels.
  6. Get your files into the cloud for easy access.
  7. Have an answering service or staff for backup.
  8. Don’t take on any work that has deadlines close to your trip.
  9. Take a tablet and a smartphone. No need for a laptop.
  10. Create a customer care plan in your absence.

I have personally found that US travel is easier for me than international travel, but with the right tools and expectations, international travel can also be managed easily enough.

Internet connectivity does allow me to work anywhere in the world, but all Internet connections and data networks are NOT equal. I try to keep things I really need to be connected to for an hour each night at the hotel purchasing hi-speed Internet access. I use data for quick responses to emails with my smartphone through out the day.

The more you travel, the better you get at managing what you can do and what you’d better defer to your return home.

If you have your own travel tips you live by, share them by clicking comments.

 

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Site Chat = Leads + Sales

Online Site Chat Let's You Connect Immediately.
Online Site Chat Let’s You Connect Immediately.

Site chat apps do generate leads which do turn into sales.  I am a living testimony to that. Since I have installed the Drift app, which is an online chat app, I have had about 5 chats, some just about questions but two about services. One moved into contract and has spent about $4,000 for my services.

I’d say that having the chat function on my website has been good for business. What’s even better is that I am always on, but do not always enter a response immediately to a chat. Even with a live chat function, you can have weekends and a real life. Your business does not need to own you.

I do feel that my prospects do like the friendliness and immediacy of  live chat. The paid version of Drift, which I am using as a free version, does has an automated bot that fills in the gaps with responses which is nice and I may upgrade to it if I get more big sales.

I find that the really serious clients start out on the chat app but then move readily to email and then to phone calls. The client that found me via my online site chat closed in less than one week.

So, if you are looking for more sales, I do recommend installing on your website an online chat function. Drift is just one of them to consider, but there are others.

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