5 Reasons Why Your Company Needs a Professional Website

It’s 2018. People spend almost over 10 hours a day in front of screen, but some businesses still don’t have their own websites. With social media, some organizations may not think it’s necessary to have their own websites, but that’s simply not the case. Having a website gives your business a leg up on the competition, even if the competition already has a website. Read on to find out the top five reasons your organization should invest in a professional website today.

man working on a website

1. It’s a platform you own and control.
It’s great to be on social media, but when algorithms change (I’m looking at you Instagram) it can be frustrating. When you have your own website, you get to control exactly what information is out there, and when and how that information is displayed to users. When you have your own website, you’re not subject to anyone’s control — you make all the decisions. You can also make it as unique or standard as you’d like. The greatest thing about having your own website is that it’s YOURS.

2. Grow your audience.
Having a website means you aren’t limited in who you reach. It’s the World-Wide Web for a reason. Even if you’ve only got one brick-and-mortar shop, you can reach hundreds of people who never would have otherwise known that your business existed. Having a website also provides your business with another platform to sell goods or services. In a world that can feel large and distant sometimes, a website can connect your business with all the corners of the globe.

3. Gives your business credibility.
People are increasingly turning to the Internet for answers to their questions. This is even more true for people that own smart-speakers like Google Home or Alexa. When someone searches for “the best pie in Nashville,” you want your website to show up. You might not be on the first page at the beginning, but with a professionally designed website and a digital marketing firm on your team, you’re website is sure to rise in the rankings.

4. Easily provide information.
Websites are increasingly important to get information out quickly to all consumers. Yes, you can put this information on social media, but your website is a one-stop-shop for all the information any consumer may need about your business. Not everyone may be on social media, but almost everyone can find a website if they have an Internet connection, which should answer any questions they may have. This is helpful when your store hours change, when you’re having a sale, or when there is a community event happening. Having a website truly makes it easier to communicate with your mass audience of consumers. And you can control whatever information gets out there and how long it is available.

5. Save money in the long run.
Traditional marketing is still important in the digital age, but when developing a website and social media presence, organizations can cut down on traditional marketing costs. It might cost an initial start-up fee to design and deploy a professional website, but having a website makes it easier in the long run to promote and advertise.

Are you looking to build a professional website? Contact Cabedge today! With a team of experienced web developers and web designers, we can create exactly the website your business needs to get on the map.

man looking at google analytics

6 Statistics to Track on Your Google Analytics

You’ve set up your Google Analytics account, but now what? There are so many statistics to track, it’s hard to know where to start. What’s important for you to track is going to depend on your organization, but there are some basic statistics that are going to be important for every entity to take note of, especially when they first start. We’ve got a guide for you outlining the top six statistics you should be looking at in your Google Analytics reports.

computer with google analytics

1. New/Unique Visitors vs. Returning Visitors
Getting new visitors is just as important as having recurrent visitors. Make sure to keep track of both of those statistics. Knowing what types of visitors you are attracting (new vs. old) can clue you in to what kind of information you need to be promoting on your website to make sure you are still attracting new users, but also getting people to come back for more.

2. Traffic source/channel
Just as important as knowing what types of visitors you are attracting is knowing where you are attracting them from. This allows you to focus your efforts on the right things to gain additional visitors. Are you getting most of your visitors from Facebook? Great — you can focus more on that platform now. Or maybe you need to improve your search engine rankings through SEO to attract more search visitors. Basically, knowing where your traffic is coming from, helps you adjust your digital marketing tactics.

There are three types of traffic channels:

  • Social: A user found a link to your website on a social media channel and clicked it.
  • Direct: A user directly typed your URL into the search bar.
  • Organic: A user found your website through non-paid for methods.

3. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate in Google Analytics refers to how many users leave a page on your website without completing any actions. Ideally, you want your bounce rate to be low. You want people to stay on your website for a considerable amount of time, and you don’t want them to leave without completing an action. An action can mean filling out a form, submitting an email address, making a purchase, or a slew of other things that require the user to interact with your website

4. Page Views
Page views tells you where users are gravitating to on your site. Checking your page views helps you understand what information people are looking for and which pages are making the most impact.

5. Exit Pages
Exit pages are where the consumer is leaving in the process of conversion. Tracking this information will clue you in to understanding where you may be losing consumers in the conversion process. This can be helpful in your understanding of how to adapt your landing pages and maybe simplify your process.

6. Lead Generation Costs (Cost Per Conversion)
This is important to track when you’re doing a form of digital marketing, like Google AdWords. Your lead generation costs should be lower than your income from your website (you should make more than you are spending). Your cost per conversion should remain low while your conversion rates and value per visits should remain high. If you’re not getting the return-on-investment that you should be from lead generation, it might be time to switch tactics.

If you’re looking for help with tracking your Google Analytics statistics, contact Cabedge today. With our team of Google Analytics specialists, we can help you take your website to the next level.

two women around a computer working on website design features

Top 5 Website Features You Need to Promote Your Company

Starting a website can be intimidating — There are so many elements to incorporate and platforms you can use to launch your web presence. Where to start? Before you shell out thousands of dollars to design a custom website, start with the basics. Think about your branding, your company goals, and your mission. How are you going to translate that to a website? Check out these five basic website features that every site should have (and might be missing).

guy on a computer working on website design features

1. A beneficial menu.
Arguably one of the most important things about your website is your navigation. It’s important for people to be able to travel on your website organically (by clicking on links), therefore, you should make it as easy as possible. Your menu should be focused on helping the people who are visiting your website find the information they need. It should be straight-forward and easy to digest.

2. A well fleshed-out about me.
Skip the jargon and talk about what your company really does! It’s important for people that are coming to your page to be able to understand exactly what you do, even if it’s incredibly complicated. Try to summarize what your company offers to consumers in one or two sentences with simple language. Make sure to talk about where you’re located, how long you’ve been in business, how many people are involved in your organization and your overall goals.

3. A clear contact page.
Help people get in contact with you! This is arguably one of the most important aspects of your website because you want people to be able to get in contact with you easily for questions and business opportunities. Make sure to put your preferred form of contact information as well as all other methods of reaching out to you. Phone, email, fax, and physical location are some of the ways people can reach out, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box and include a contact form or your social media links.

4. Social media links!
Speaking of social media links… Help people that come to your website find you on other platforms! Similar to having a clear contact page, including links to your social media allows users to find you on multiple platforms. It makes it easier for people to keep up to date with your business and furthers the relationship past a simple website visit. If people follow you on social media, you are more likely to stay at the forefront of their mind, and therefore, hopefully, make more sales and connections.

5. FAQ page/search bar.
This is especially helpful if you work in a confusing industry or have a lot of competition. It will help visitors answer their questions faster, and it will make them feel more confident and comfortable working with your organization. The search bar function is only important if it actually works and benefits the user. If a search function isn’t necessary for your website, invest in creating an FAQ page. Make sure to include actual questions people may have, and don’t just rehash your about me.

Looking for help to take your website to the next level? Contact Cabedge today! Our team of website designers and content strategists can help you flesh out your design and make sure you’re catering to your consumers needs.

style guide amongst other books

6 Reasons Your Company Needs a Style Guide

You’ve licensed your company. You’ve worked with your first clients. You’ve got your name out to friends and family. Now what? Now, it’s time for a style guide. Style guides are utilized by organizations that want to keep a consistent brand and portray a consistent image to the public. Style guides incorporate branding information like fonts, colors, and image size and placement requirements, but they also include tone that should be used in copy, regulatory information and basically anything else than an employee or branding agency should know in order to replicate the brand.

Your style guide should be easily referenced in case graphic designers or team members are replaced. Someone should be able to pick up your style guide and be able to recreate your brand exactly how it was envisioned. Let’s get into the top six reasons your organization needs a style guide today.

style guide card that says less is more

1. Consistency.
The number one reason for any organization to create and utilize a style guide is to cultivate consistency in a brand. Because everything is listed right there in the style guide and, ideally, it is available to everyone that will be promoting the brand to an audience, there’s no reason for colors or fonts to be misused. The style guide outlines the exact way the brand should be used, which ensures consistency from everyone that is creating promotional content.

2. Save time and money.
Keeping a style guide means that your company can save time. It means new employees won’t have to constantly ask someone if the Oxford comma is used, what color blue is in the logo, and how the font should be aligned. With an easy to reference guide that answers most questions I new hire will have about the brand, the style guide almost serves as a training manual. If your company is copy heavy and you have a style guide that outlines all controversial writing rules (like when to use a dash and how to use commas) it can save on the time an editor will have to spend on the information on the second round. If you’re saving on the editor’s time, you are in turn saving money. It’s a win-win situation!

3. Answer questions before people can ask them.
Similar to saving both new and older employees’ time, a style guide also answers questions before someone even has a chance to ask them. When employees have a resource document to refer to, it means asking fewer questions and wasting fewer people’s time. A style guide should also anticipate most people’s questions, so having one available means telling employees to refer to it before taking the question up the chain of command.

4. Aids in your professionalism.
It might seem silly, but having a style guide takes your organization from one level to another. It might take some time to set up, but once you have it, it will serve your organization for many years to come.

5. Makes it easy for consumers to recognize your organization.
In line with creating consistency for your brand, a style guide makes it easier for consumers to recognize you. If your brand looks the same everywhere it appears, consumers are more likely to recognize it no matter if it’s on the side of a building or on a business card in their hands. Consumers will also be able to recognize key fonts your organization uses as belonging to you if they really stand out (think Coca-Cola, Nike, and Lego).

6. Makes transitions/new hires easier.
When you can hand a document over to a new designer rather than sit down for days on end answering questions, it makes personnel changes easier. While no company ever wants to deal with high-turnover, having a style guide makes it just a little bit easier to undergo personnel changes.

If you’re wanting to create a style but don’t have a good idea of where to start, reach out to Cabedge today. We have experience in creating and managing brand standards, and we’re more than happy to help you start your style guide!

Rethinking a necessary evil: Three things digital marketers can learn from the NBA Playoffs

If you’re a basketball fan, maybe you’ve noticed feeling less compelled to flip channels during the game in recent months. Or maybe you’re finding the ubiquitous “TV timeout” (an opportunity you once used to abandon the game for an expedition to the fridge) a little more absorbing than it was in years past.

Well, there’s a very good reason for that.

Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, recently gave a fascinating interview about the analytics behind viewer behavior and some strategic changes to the way the NBA places ads within the game to keep the attention of the viewer.

Silver and his team are passionately devoted to continually examining the analytics of viewer behavior to understand how long the average user stays engaged and where viewer levels drop-off. “Not surprisingly, we lose the highest number of fans when we move off live-action, especially at halftime,” Silver noted. “And we lose fans at every commercial break. So we’re experimenting, with Turner and ESPN, with not leaving the arena completely during commercial breaks, and instead having a split-screen, where we stay with the huddle at the same time we show an ad. It’s a trade-off for our marketing partners. On the one hand, they’d like the full attention of a viewer. On the other hand, they might prefer to keep all of the viewers and find ways to create connections with their products and engage directly with the game.”

The NBA’s willingness to rethink the “necessary evil” of TV advertising has resulted in a more engaged viewer who is less apt to flip channels or abandon the game for other distractions. The viewer still sees the marketing materials and product advertisements, but it’s within the context of an in-game experience, thus resulting in an audience that’s a little more engaged as the products are being pitched. Silver also outlined other ways his team has shifted the TV experience to increase engagement such as incorporating player mics, alternate camera angles, and other data fields for users to understand the metrics behind the game.

So what can a digital marketer learn from watching the NBA Playoffs?

  1. Necessary evils in advertising may not be as necessary as you think. Putting an ad in front of your audience may be a channel of marketing you choose to take, but it doesn’t have to be flashy and assertive. Advertising can also convey content that is creative, compelling and useful to consumers, even though it may result in a more indirect path (read: more clicks) to conversion. It’s true that subtlety in marketing & advertising can result in a longer sales cycle, but it can also create lasting relationships with your customers that a more direct “in-your-face” approach may not produce.
  2. You can’t create a better user experience without understanding the places where engagement is lagging or users are dropping off. Creating a visual funnel in your data can be a great method of determining where engagement is slowing or where users are abandoning the conversion path altogether. Don’t be afraid to engage with actual consumers in order to understand how they experience your website. Oftentimes our clients are surprised in what they learn when they stop making assumptions and start talking with real, live users of their product or website.
  3. Don’t be afraid to invite your users deeper into the experience. Conveying a personality that’s consistent and feels authentic is often a road-block for many of our clients. It can be difficult to find a voice for your brand and pinpoint the fine line of just how much to share with the general public. But inviting users into a “behind-the-scenes” look at your team in action or your product being made gives an authenticity to your company and an opportunity for your audience to feel actively engaged and invested in your brand.

The bottom line is this –the key to the future of digital advertising is a better understanding of your users and a willingness to find ways to creatively convey engaging content to them. Taking an opportunity to rethink your ad content and how your ads are delivered is a good first step toward the future success of your brand.

cabedge goal setting

Setting SMART Goals

Companies are always rushing to create, promote, and engage audiences because that’s what makes money. But it’s important to know why you’re doing it before you start throwing money down the drain. The first step to any successful business practice is to set goals. You’ve got to know what you want to accomplish before you get anywhere with your consumers. Cabedge considers itself an expert on setting SMART goals, so let’s get started!

Let’s Get SMART
There’s a difference between setting goals and setting SMART goals.

SMART goals don’t have anything to do with your intelligence, but they do have something to do with your strategy. SMART stands for: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Let’s break that down further.

Let’s try and understand SMART goals by using the example of a dog grooming company, Bow Wow Cuts. Bow Wow Cuts is launching its first website, and it wants to increase traffic to its website by 15 percent in the first three months. Let’s analyze how this goal is SMART.

Specific: Because they are launching a website, it makes sense for Bow Wow Cuts to focus on the traffic that goes to that site specifically rather than tracking in-store visits or chew toy purchases. Without worrying about anything else, Bow Wow can track the impact that the website will have on its online presence.

Measurable: By determining that it wants to increase traffic by 15 percent Bow Wow has made this goal measurable. It knows how much it wants to increase traffic by, therefore it knows when it has hit that goal and can set a new goal.

Attainable: Bow Wow knows that it is launching a new website which is not likely to get an 80 percent increase in traffic, but 15 percent is a good number to reach in a reasonable amount of time.

Relevant: Bow Wow wants to focus on its online presence in this goal because of its recent website launch.

Time-bound: Bow Wow Cuts knows it wants to reach a 15 percent increase after three months of the site being live. After that three months is up, it can determine new goals. A deadline means a time-bound goal.

Having this SMART goal setting system determined before beginning any projects gives an organization and its team focus. It helps team members knows what the organization wants to achieve, and everything they do is catered toward accomplishing that goal. Including a unit of measurement and a due date provides a framework for the team. If the goal is too big or has an ambiguous end date, organizations are less likely to reach it because it becomes daunting or procrastination sets in. When you’ve got an end date for your goal, it gives you a new chance to evaluate success, adjust goals and set additional goals to continue moving forward. Goal setting is an endless cycle that provides organizations a chance to refocus themselves.

Setting goals can seem like an unnecessary step when there are 1,001 things to accomplish, but it’s the most important step because it sets the tone for the rest of the journey. If it’s done properly, goal setting leads to more determination, easily accomplished tasks and future success.

For help with professional goal setting for your organization, reach out to Cabedge today.