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Should You Hire a Marketing Agency to Design Your Website? Here Are Three Questions to Ask Before Getting Started.

Whether you’re a large company with a sizable in-house marketing department, or a freelancer looking to enhance your reach, deciding on a new website is a big decision. There are a lot of great resources out there for folks. From the super user-friendly content management systems like Squarespace and Wix to the more complex (but still user-friendly) WordPress websites.

If you’re looking to redesign or start a web development project, understanding your needs and what an agency can offer can help you make the right decision that will set you and your business up for success.

Even though we’re an agency ourselves, we don’t always think it’s necessary to work with one. If you’re interested in blogging, for example, you may just be able to set up a super simple site and divert dollars that you would have invested in a website towards marketing needs.

So if you’re unsure if you can handle the project or you need to outsource it, we’ve put together a quick reference list of questions to ask yourself and your team before deciding whether to bring your web development needs out of the house.

1. What does your website need to do?

Think beyond “look good,” or “sound catchy.” All websites should look good and have clear, concise copy. That’s too generic of a goal. Try digging deeper and understanding exactly what it is that you need from your website. Are you an e-commerce site with a lot of products? Or do you provide a service that needs initial consultations to get started?

Think of all the functions your website needs to perform for you. Map it out in terms of hierarchy and priority. This will inform your decisions on whether or not you can build the website with the resources you currently have — or if you need to schedule a consultation with a marketing agency.

2. How complicated are those needs?

If you’ve got a lot of different needs. Say you need to add a cart to your website, and a bookings feature for appointments, these add to the complexity of your website. It moves from simple form conversions to bigger needs that sometimes require a skilled developer to achieve.

Take the map you’ve made from the first step and then decide which features are complex and if they’re absolutely needed. Then do an audit on your current resources and decide if you need to tap into outside support for design and development.

3. What is your timeline and budget?

Even if you have a robust marketing department with awesome, skilled designers and developers, they may be working on their own projects and not have time to redesign your entire website. Your timeline is crucial in making a realistic decision about your website design.

And finally, your budget. If you’ve got a tight budget, you may need to work with what you’ve got. Though at Blue Edge, we love working with clients of all budgets in helping their website dreams come true, so even if you have a humble budget, you may not have to rule out an agency to design your website.

In conclusion

These three questions will help you better assess your website needs and whether you not you should bring the project to an agency. Deciding its function, the complexity of that function, and knowing your realistic timeline and budget will move you in the right direction for your website project.

If you’re ready to work with an agency, we’d love to learn more about your goals! Schedule a consultation with us today to get started!

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Here’s Why Your Company Should Have A Blog

If you’re on the fence on whether or not to start a blog on your website, we’re here to tell you it’s a good idea! Blogs are actually powerful tools for you to use to recruit customers, increase lead generation, or build your brand positioning in your industry.

When executed correctly, blogs can really help you and your company be a resource for people in your area of expertise. If you’re an accounting firm, having a blog as a resource can help your clients understand commonly asked questions about the accounting business. If you’re an event company, your blog can be a resource to gather more event booking leads, that eventually turn into repeat customers.

Whatever the goal of your company, a blog can likely help support it. We’ve mapped out a few reasons why you should always have a blog on your website, and the benefits you’ll gain in doing so.

You can increase lead generation

A blog is a great way to increase lead generation. If you’re in need of acquiring more customers, then your blog can offer resources to folks that come to you to solve certain problems. For example, if you run your own consulting business, then your blogs can be a lead magnet for people to inquiry about your services.

If you’ve got a free resource for people, include it in your blog and ask for their email. Here you can send the resource to them via email, and capture their information so you’ll have a chance to build a working relationship with the potential client.

You can optimize your search engine results

Your website is only as strong as your SEO. You can have the best website in the whole world, but if no one is searching for it, or if it’s not coming up in search engine result pages, then no one will ever see it.

Having a blog can help you rank higher in search engine result pages, (or SERPs). This means more people are likely to click on your page and be exposed to the services you offer.

You’ll build your brand equity

A blog is a perfect opportunity to craft your brand and build relationships with your customers and clients. You’ll be able to tell more specific stories. You can include success stories of your products, you can include technical articles on how to use certain software that is aligned with your products. Or you can write about whatever it is that helps build your client relationships. Your blog is an opportunity to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

Clients will trust that you are an expert in your industry. Having the resource of a blog, allows people to stay on your website while simultaneously building up their trust in your products or services. It’s a win-win!

Having a blog can set you apart from your competitors, increase your lead generation game, and build your brand as a thought leader. If you’re interested in learning more about building a blog, contact us for a free consultation!

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B2B, SaaS, SERPs, Oh My! Popular Marketing Acronyms, Defined

It’s true, marketing lingo can often be ridden with jargon and hard-to-understand acronyms. For marketers, it comes easy to us, sometimes we forget that B2C actually isn’t a word found in the dictionary and just a fancy acronym with a number in it.

But we’re all about empowering our clients to understand the bigger picture when it comes to strategy and marketing decisions. We want to remove the complicated jargon that can sometimes feel intimidating and replace it with your friendly, neighborhood marketing agency.

We’ve created this guide to decode some of the more popular marketing lingo. But we go a step beyond just defining, we’ll map out why these terms are important and how they’re applied to different marketing strategies across industries.

Without further adieu, let’s dive in.

Search Engine Acronyms

  • SEM: Search Engine Marketing


What it Actually Means: Search engine marketing is a broad term for all things related to search engines and how people search to find your website. Whether that’s through the content on your site or how many links you have out on the internet that direct users back to your site, SEM is an all-encompassing term.

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization

What it actually means: Search engine optimization is definitely a buzzword in the marketing industry. People want to optimize for SEO. Which actually is redundant, since the term has optimization in its definition. SEO consists of many different techniques to make your site stand out in search engine result pages, namely Google’s search engine.

  • SERPs: Search Engine Results Pages

            What it actually means: This one is pretty straightforward. SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages are the pages that come up after someone has typed something in the search query. Ideally, if you’ve got a good SEM strategy and efficient SEO, then your site will come up in the first SERP. Following along? This means your website is among the first to pop up when a user types keywords associated with your site.

Business Acronyms + Their Relationship to Marketing

  • B2B: Business to Business


What it actually means: This is a common marketing term for businesses whose primary audience is other businesses. So if you’re a distributor of coffee, you’re selling to other businesses, not individuals. These businesses often have different marketing strategies.

  • B2C: Business to Consumer

    What it actually means: Conversely to B2B, B2Cs are businesses that sell products directly to consumers. These are businesses like restaurants and retailers. There are a lot of different examples of B2C, but often their marketing voice is different than a B2B.

  • SaaS: Software as a Service

    What it actually means: Ok, this isn’t just some sassy acronym, no. This is a common term in the tech world for companies whose main product is software. Think Venmo or Headspace, or other Apps that’s main product is software.

Popular Marketing Metrics Acronyms

  • KPI: Key Performance Indicator


What it actually means: KPIs can be different for any marketing department and company. They’re often indicators of how your particular service or product is performing. Some people use lead conversions as a KPI, others use e-commerce sales. These are key indicators of growth and success for both the company and the marketing strategy.

  • ROI: Return on Investment

           
What it actually means: This is from the finance world. Like any big investment, people want a return on it. This is also true for marketing dollars spent. If you’re spending $500/month on lead generation, but you close $2000/month in sales then your net return is $1500. Not too shabby.

The truth is, these are just the more common acronyms used in marketing and sales. There are a lot of other terms that are used outside of this handy-dandy guide. And if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, we can help with any and all of your digital marketing needs.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation!