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Tag Archives: social media

TIP: Boomerang is a Fun Instagram Tool You can Use

Use Social Media Tools like Boomerang to Beef Up Your Profile

It’s been around for a bit, but up till now, it was a secret that only teenagers seemed to know about. Boomerang is a fun App from Instagram that you can use to make super short videos (not much longer than a GIF) to add to your Instagram profile.

Boomerang for Instagram to Beef up Social Media

It’s important to change things up to keep your followers engaged, and Boomerang is a fun way to do it. It is super easy to use, and the app is free at the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. You can read up more on how to use the app here: http://blog.instagram.com/post/131684343987/boomerang-from-instagram. Boomerang takes a series of photos in quick succession and then plays it forward and backwards to create a fun loop video. You can catch someone jumping in the air, or as you can see above, blowing a bubble! Be creative and use it to show people more about your business, or just use it to show your fun side.

Check back again soon for more fun social media tips from Websites to Impress. If you would like to work with Websites to Impress on your social media management, these are the types of tools we can help you use to manage your social media profiles.

Contact our team to learn more about these and other great social media ideas!

 

 

The Write Stuff

writing on social mediaEven though it seems like people are moving away from pen and paper, there is more written information being exchanged than ever before. Because of this, you need to have a written presence on your website, whether it be a blog or pages explaining your products and services.

Before you jump in and start adding content to your website you need to think about not only what you’re going to say, but how you’re going to say it. Your writing reflects on you, your company and, to a certain extent, your industry, so it needs to be well done. You are obviously writing for a reason, so you want your information to be read and hopefully used.

A well-written article has a better chance of being read than a poorly written one. If an article is hard to follow or is full of mistakes and typos, the reader may get frustrated and stop reading or, at the very least, they will not take you seriously and you may come off as unprofessional.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when doing any writing for your company or organization:

Spell Check Works Four Me!

spell checkDon’t rely solely on your computer’s spell-check program. This cannot be emphasized enough. Some people have become lazy over the years with software throwing red lines up when there is a spelling error. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a great tool, but it is not foolproof. The software can only tell you if a word is spelled wrong, not if you are using a homophone (they’re, there, their) or the wrong word entirely, but spelled correctly (infamous vs famous). I use some software like Grammarly to help catch glaring errors, but I also have a stack of reference books that I use to double-check some rules of grammar and spelling. If you’re still not sure, use the advice of my high school English teacher: “When in doubt, throw it out.” Use another word, if you aren’t confident. It’s better to choose another option than to sound uneducated.

Profreed Prufread Proofread

proofreading Read over what you have written. If you can, read it aloud and get feedback from your coworkers or family. You may have changed the tense or voice in mid-sentence, or maybe you didn’t even finish a thought. Just quickly glancing over the page won’t catch small errors that will be jarring when read by your audience. Fair or not, readers will judge you when reading your pages.

Bite-size Morsels

bite sizeReaders like small bites. You may have seen the abbreviation “TLDR” in online comments. If you’re unfamiliar with that notation, it means “too long, didn’t read”. If it’s a common enough sentiment to get its own shorthand, there is a reason behind it. When people see a big block of uninterrupted text, they might skim it, but more likely, they’ll just skip it entirely. Especially when you are writing on the Internet, try to  keep paragraphs to just a few sentences and make it easy for the reader to digest the information.

You Talkin’ To Me?

audience Write to your audience. Your lingo and voice will be different when addressing your industry peers, as opposed to a reader who may be unfamiliar with your line of work. Try not to talk over their heads, but don’t speak down to them either. It’s a delicate balance to maintain. Regardless of your audience, you must remain professional at all times. Avoid using slang, insults, profanity or name-calling. Not everyone is going to agree with your personal beliefs, but they may want to use your product. If you turn them off with a page-long rant about a sensitive issue, you can bet they’ll not only not use your company, but they will tell their friends and it may become a big public relations problem.

For some people, writing can be as scary as speaking in front of others. Fortunately, Websites To Impress can help you with this task. We offer social media marketing and management services and we can do the writing for you with our team of professional writers.

Instagram Now Allows You to Manage Multiple Accounts!

Thank Heavens, You Can Now Manage All Your Instagram Accounts Easily!

For those of us in Social Media Management, Instagram has finally cut us a big break. At WTI, we can tell you that we are definitely…..well, relieved! The way it has worked in the past, you had to log out of an account and login to an account to get to it, and passwords aren’t remembered. If you manage many Instagram accounts, this can be tedious at best and down right painful the rest of the time.  

Instagram has changed how it allows you to manage multiple accounts, so here is a quick how-to on the process, as it is not completely intuitive on how to set it up.

1. Log into your main account. Locate your settings button in your profile:

profilesettings1

2. Scroll down to the bottom of your settings screen and locate “Add Account” and click it.

addaccount

3. Log into the account you want to add to your profile with your username and password.

Instagram login screen

4. From that point on you can be able to toggle from one account to another!

profilesettings

This is a huge win for everyone that works on social media. Not just groups like ours that offer full social media management. Whether you are a blogger and are toggling between your account and your blog account, or you just want to have a second account for your dog, it is now possible and easy thanks to the latest update from Instagram. If you are interested in social media management contact our team at WTI. We manage every type of social media including Facebook (including paid advertising!), Linkedin, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, and more. Contact us for any marketing help that you need in Illinois at 309-489-0026 and in Iowa at 712-792-4427. Thank you Instagram for making our lives just a little bit easier!

Serving a Slice of SEO in 2016

Six SEO Trends for ’16

The one thing you can plan on in the world of SEO is that you can’t plan on anything. Consumer habits and Google’s algorithms are always in flux, so, the best you can do is jump in and stay ahead of the wave. Here are some trends for 2016 we at Websites To Impress see as ones to watch.

Go mobileGet Mobile Now

Mobile optimization over desktop-Your website should work on a smartphone or tablet just as well, if not better, than on a desktop computer. More and more people are looking for instant information while they are on the go or multitasking. People use the internet everywhere: while shopping or dining, in the kitchen or bathroom, or while watching TV or working out. They may not have the time to do multiple searches and need the right answer to their query immediately. You may only have one shot to grab their attention, so make sure your website is there to fulfill their need.

Use Your VUse a Digital Assistantoice

Voice search-Because of the growth of mobile devices, there is an increase in spoken search queries over typed ones. Digital assistants like Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana are changing the way people search for topics. Long-tail keywords will become more important as people are not just looking for “pizza”, but “deep dish pizza near my home”. Search engines may reward pages that use a more conversational language over one that is accurate but sounds like a textbook. We’ll see why this is important when we discuss the next trend.

Go Beyond Just KeywordsPhrasing is Big

More than words-Keywords are still important, they probably always will be, but SEO needs to cover synonyms and related terms. Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, launched in late 2013, focuses on the meaning behind words, rather than the actual word. To stick with our pizza analogy, Hummingbird will be able to figure out that “Chicago-style pizza” probably means “deep dish pizza” and not “pizza in Chicago” and give you a more accurate search result. As Google’s bots continue to crawl through the billions of pages out there, meanings will become more and more important.

Focus on Local SEOGet Recognized Around Town

Local SEO-As the example above shows, people are looking for specific information, especially on their mobile devices. To keep with the pizza example, a website for a deep dish pizza place in Chicago is probably not going to be of any use to a user in Phoenix, no matter how good the site (or the pizza) is. Of course, you want your site to be at the top of search engine results, but if it doesn’t translate to purchases or click throughs, then it really doesn’t matter. If you have a local business, it is more important to be at the top of local searches, thereby driving business to your company or organization.

Use Social Media to it's FullestLet’s Get Social

Social media importance grows-It is important that you not only have a website, but you have a presence on social media, such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and so on. Not only does it spread the word about your business, but it lends authenticity to your organization. Potential customers will see that you’re not some shady company, but that you’ve invested time into your image and product. In addition, a social media outlet helps search engines know what sites are credible.

Engage Your Website VisitorsStay a Little Bit Longer

User engagement-OK, you’ve got your mobile site, and it’s all set to sell your Widgets in Springfield, but when people find your result on the search page, are they staying or are they clicking on another site right after yours? Search engines algorithms will start paying more attention to user engagement metrics. They want to make sure that the pages they are offering are really what the users are looking for. You need to make sure your website keeps the user there, interacting with your page and ultimately making a purchase or using your service, because really that’s the ultimate reason you have a website, isn’t it?

Predicting the future is never a sure thing, but maximizing the trends listed above won’t do any damage to your SEO and may make your results stronger than ever. We want to help you and make it our business to stay ahead of the changes and trends that are always developing. If you would like to know more about SEO, contact our team today. We want you to not only have a first-rate website, but help you get the best SEO results possible. Now, where can I find some good pizza…

SEO News: Another Google Algorithm Update

Has The Next March of The Penguin Begun?

Back in April of 2012, Google introduced Penguin. This algorithm was instituted by Google to catch sites that were spamming for search results. Some sites were buying links or obtaining them through link networks, artificially inflating their rankings on Google search results pages. The last Penguin update was in October of 2014.

Fluctuations Point to an Algorithm Change…Again

Google Algorithm Update Affects SEO ResultsOver the weekend of January 15th, some SEO specialists and webmasters noticed an abnormal fluctuation in the Google rankings. Social media erupted, with many people wondering if this was the long-awaited Penguin update. Last December, a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that “[w]ith the holidays upon us, it looks like the penguins won’t march until [2016].” Many of us have been awaiting the new update, as the last one was over a year ago. So, when more and more people began to notice that their rankings were changing this weekend, they suspected that a Penguin update was the culprit. However, Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, confirmed we will have to wait a little while longer for the next Penguin update when he tweeted Monday morning that they were updating the “core algorithm. Not Penguin.”

Not everyone is convinced that Google isn’t doing something with Penguin, evidenced by the large amount of chatter on social media over the last week concerning the changes in the automated tracking tools. The new update is supposed to allow Google to analyze the links on a site in real-time, changing rankings immediately. Sites that have fixed the bad links on their site may regain rankings (with new sites possibly being caught) and sites that were hit with false positives may see some redemption. No one likes to work under a cloud of uncertainty, so it’s no wonder that the majority of SEOs and webmasters want this new update to happen. If we take Google at their word, however, it looks like we will have to wait a little longer for Penguin to break its winter hibernation.

Website Performance: Is it Really That Important?

Considering Upgrading Your Website? Here’s Why You Should.

Website speed is a factor in keeping customers on your site.Are you looking at your old, outdated website and wondering if it really matters if it is old and outdated? The answer is  YES, absolutely. There are many reasons to update your website, but now more than ever, customer experience is critical to your search engine rankings, and customer consideration of your product or service. Here are some factors for you to consider when updating your website.

Site Speed

It has been proven that people will leave your website if it doesn’t load quickly. Old, outdated websites tend to use old code or platforms that won’t load quickly at all. Google offers a tool you can use to determine your site’s speed. We would recommend a score over 80 at least for your site, especially in regards to search engine optimization.

Fresh Look & Content

Site speed isn’t the only factor that users find important. Another huge factor that will keep users on your website is freshly updated content. One option for you when you are upgrading or developing a website is to consider a content management system. WTI offers a CMS that allows you to update your own content as needed. You can add new pictures as well, which can also help keep things current.

Mobile-Friendliness

Branding and mobile friendly sites are also very important for your website.Don’t forget the importance of having a mobile-friendly or responsive website. If your website performs well, but it doesn’t work well on mobile devices or tablets, you can lose a large percentage of your site viewers. The number of people using the internet on mobile will only rise, so expect this factor to become more and more important.

Branding

One last thing we recommend to enhance customer experience is to brand yourself. When you have an updated website, follow suit with that updated look throughout social media and where ever your brand lives online including local directories. This will help make you more noticeable and memorable.

WTI offers website design and re-design options for everything from a one-page website to a full-blown e-commerce website. We offer free quotes for your custom website design and can help you with your online marketing and search engine optimization as well. Don’t worry about your old, antiquated website a day longer. Call us to get started today.

Mobile-Optimization Will Become More Important Than Ever

Tip for Mobile-Optimization

Mobile optimization is the process of ensuring that visitors to a website
from mobile devices, that the website will be optimized for that device. With
everyone spending more and more time away from home and more time on their
mobile devices and tablets, it is more important that the website is
designed to account for different screen sizes and load times. If a website
is not optimized for mobile devices, visitors will turn away from your
website.

Last year, 2014, there was a significant priority for optimizing for mobile
devices. This year, 2015, there is a focus on mobile-optimized content and
social media marketing. Social medial ad spending, such as on Facebook,
will increase as businesses struggle to maintain traffic and sales from
social media channels.

With Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest giving businesses more exposure, businesses are
seeing positive results from their investment in social media, paid
advertising. They are getting increased exposure and traffic. The increase
in social-ad spending is driven by the continuous grown of mobile devices.

Get your Website Optimized for Mobile Devices

So if you are a business owner, it is more important than ever to have your
website optimized for mobile devices. Not only will your website get more
traffic, customers will be able to find your website from social media. It
will pay for you to spend on social media advertising as there is a large
increase in the use of social media.

The professionals at Websites to Impress can help you get your website
optimized for mobile devices and create a website that will impress your
customers. We have over a decade of experience our team will give you the
most cost effective solution to get your website optimized and give your
website more exposure.

We have a team that consists of:

  • Web designers
  • Graphic designers
  • Web developers
  • Web producers
  • Search engine optimization consultants

We are located in Geneseo, IL and serve clients
throughout the entire United States and Canada.

Don’t let your competitors get the edge over you. Websites to Impress will
optimize your website and give your business more exposure. Contact us today!

Google Plus – The Next Big Social Media Tool

Why Should Your Business Be On Google Plus?

When we think of social media, the first names that come to mind are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Thanks to Google, they have developed a top-notch social network tool called Google Plus. Google Plus helps businesses gain internet traffic as well as search engine optimization. Google Plus is not better or worse than other social media networks, it’s just different. Because it is unique, it has continued to grow over the years, gaining in popularity. They’ve reached over a million users faster than Facebook. This is why Websites to Impress offers innovative websites as well as Google Plus set up for new and existing businesses.

Steps to Setup a Google Plus Profile

Boost your business with Google PlusTo step up a Google Plus profile, we will complete the following steps.

Sign up: Two things are required for sign up. One is a Gmail address, and the other is a invitation. Without a Gmail account, you won’t be able to access Google Plus. WTI can sign up your business name and Gmail address for you.

Create a profile: A profile is created, but yet it doesn’t have to showcase your business. It can be a personal profile about yourself. We can upload pictures, contact information and insert videos.

Add friends: To boost your business, we can add friends or anyone who wants to on your friend’s list. The more friends you add, the merrier.

Keep Track of Conversations: When your friends post events on Google Plus, join in by commenting. It may be impossible to keep track of everyone’s conversation, but to comment on a few may help.

Start Conversing: WTI can post links to your blog page about the services you offer. This will help create conversations about your business.

Promote Your Business: We’ll link your business to the Google Plus, and add a Google Plus button to your website. The more users that click the button, the higher your Google rankings. Whether you have an existing or new business, Google Plus is an effective tool to promote your service.

Benefits of Google Plus For Your Business

Google Plus by Websites To ImpressIncrease Rankings. Google owns and operates Google Plus, so it will keep track of your rankings. Also, it will attract visitors to your site from Google’s search results.

Easy Tracking. Like Facebook, Google has a “like” option. The more “likes”, the better. This lets Google know that you’re sharing posts and viewers are reading your page.

Business Profile. We can write a Google Plus profile about the services and products you offer. When consumers search for your products, this content will appear in the meta description.

Social Media Links. If you have other social media profiles, from Facebook, you can link them to your profile.

Share Information. You can share content, videos, or articles that link back to your site.

Google Plus Circle. Add people and friends to your circle so they will follow you. This increases exposure to you and your business.

Hangouts: Other social networks don’t have this feature, which makes Google Plus unique. Hangouts allow you to have group discussions, meetings or demonstrations.

Websites To Impress encourages businesses to get a Google Plus profile. It is a powerful way to gain popularity on the web. We’ll set up a business profile for you to increase your rankings. Also, we’ll incorporate rich content, images, links and videos that link back to your site. Contact us today so we set one up for you!

Making the Most out of Social Media

It’s Always Best to Think Before you Post

In a world that is all about social media, we are all so quick to post. What you think in one moment you are posting in the next. Sometimes this is not the best approach, especially when your business can really benefit from well thought out and useful posts.

The Recipe for Great Social Media PostsSocial Media Iowa, Illinois

Status Updates: Make your post attention-grabbing, but at the same time make sure the content is up to date, relevant, and informative. You want to stay under 50 characters to keep your readers attention. It is also a good idea to engage your readers with a question.

Provide Links: This is good for Search Engine Optimization if you link to your website in your status update, but also can provide additional, useful information for your reader.

When People Comment, Reply: Interacting with your commenters will engage them with you further. It helps to build trust and relationships. During this time you can further tailor the post to the people that are commenting, and also engage them to hopefully share your posts.

 Making Great Blogs

Tips for Blogging in Iowa and IllinoisEngage your Reader with a Great Title: If you don’t catch them with the title, you might lose them before your even really had them. It’s the first thing they will read. Including keywords in your title will also help with SEO.

Draw People in with your First Paragraph: This is your chance to draw people in further and give them a feel for what they can expect in your article.

Add an Eye Catching and Relevant Image: Images make the article more interesting for the reader and break up the text. It also make the blog more shareable on other forms of social media.

The Length of Your Post Matters: It’s a best practice to keep your blog from about 500 to 800 words. That way it is long enough to get your point across, but not so long you lose your reader.

End with a Call to Action: A summary at the end of your blog is always a good idea, and it is a great idea to link your blog to another blog (where relevant) or ask readers to comment on your blog or share the post in social media.

Share your Blog on your Social Media: Manually share your blog post on Google + or use a format such as Hootsuite to automatically post your blogs via RSS.

Other Great Social Media Tips

Utilitze Social Media in the Quad Cities, Des MoinesFacebook: Keep your posts positive, make sure to include images where you can and make sure those images are simple so they appear well on peoples mobile devices. After all, many users of Facebook are on their phones! Post when you will be available to reply to commenters as well to benefit the most from your posts, otherwise schedule them to post when you will be available.

Twitter: Make sure you provide a clear call to action in your 140 characters, avoiding abbreviations. Good grammar is still important! Shorten URLs using a tool like Bit.ly to optimize your 140 character posts. Use mentions and retweets when possible to engage more users and use questions where you can. Adding images or videos can also engage more users. Use hashtags wisely.

Pinterest: Believe it or not people don’t want to see people on Pinterest. Pin pictures without people in them as they are shared more frequently. Pin images with multiple colors as it is proven that they are also repinned more often.

Google+: It’s a great idea to tag brands or other people. G+ users get notified when tagged and may engage with you. Watch for trending topics and get involved with them especially when they pertain to you or your business in any way. Use images on G+ because you can use full-size images of up to 800×600. Twitter isn’t the only home for hashtag either – use them wisely on G+ as well. As with Facebook, it is wise to engage your commenters to promote your post and hopefully get users to share your posts as well.

Instagram: Use the rule of thirds for your images by putting the subject of your image in only two-thirds of the screen. This is eye-catching to viewers of the image. Again, hashtag rule in Instagram, and there are certain hastags that come around on a weekly basis. It is good to familiarize yourself and use these popular hashtags. Make sure to reply to Instagram users that post to your images.

Keep Track of Your Social Media Posts

As Mark Cuban says in this video, a big mistake people make is not cleaning up their old posts. If you have old posts that are no longer relevant to your business, remove them. Social media doesn’t have to be daunting. It can be fun and extremely beneficial to your business. What you put into it is definitely what you will get out of it. The best part of social media is it is free. Use it often, use it wisely, and watch your business grow from your social media posts. If you need any assistance with social media management, Websites to Impress can help. Call us today with any questions!