John Soules Food

John Soules Food is a superb example of the marketing and design capabilities that The Marcom Group possesses in regard to designing and maintaining a website for the needs of a versatile company. Whether your products are both online or in-store, their website formats can meet the needs for your wide customer base.

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3 Things That Make A New Web Design Work

For most business owners and executives, it’s relatively easy to look at work folio samples or website mockups and find a preference. Most of us know what we like and don’t like when we see it. However, getting an effective website for your company isn’t as simple as choosing the right layout or visuals. If you really want your site to help you make money, you need a design that actually works.

What do we mean by “works” in this context? We are referring to the idea that, in addition to appealing to your artistic instincts, the look and layout of your website help you to meet your business goals. Or to put it another way: if your site isn’t drawing in visitors, convincing them of your competitive strengths, and turning them into sales opportunities, then why have it online in the first place?

With that perspective in place, let’s take a look at three things that make a new web design work…

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5 Ways to Evaluate Web Design Companies

We have noticed over the years that many of the business owners who come to us for help feel like they are flying blind. Often, they know they need a company that can help them build a custom website, but aren’t sure how to evaluate their many choices and options. After all, you could embark on an almost endless Google search just by looking through web designers in the area, which is to say nothing of the numerous DIY template companies and overseas providers out there.

So, how does someone who needs a website – and possibly isn’t all that familiar with industry jargon or the latest internet marketing trends – find the right web designer to work with? As with everything in life and business, it’s all about the right fit. To help you find a vendor who is right for your situation, here are five criteria you should consider…

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Are You Making These Facebook Advertising Mistakes?

Google AdWords and Facebook advertising are built on a similar premise: show your marketing messages to the right people and you can generate an instant response. However, they represent entirely different platforms that work in unique ways. It’s no surprise, then, that so many marketers try to transfer the success they’ve had using search PPC to social media advertising and come up short.

To use Facebook advertising profitably, you have to follow an approach that’s tailored to the social network itself. That means avoiding a few all-too-common mistakes that small business owners tend to make again and again.

Let’s look at a few common blunders you should watch out for in your Facebook advertising campaigns…

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Are Negative Online Reviews Killing Your Sales?

Online reputation management is a relatively new topic in the world of internet marketing. For that reason, it’s not so surprising that a lot of business owners either don’t know what kinds of reviews have been posted about them online, or aren’t too worried about it.

However, we want all of our clients and readers to understand that negative feedback on the internet can absolutely kill your sales. That’s because a bad online reputation is like a hidden expense on your bottom line. It robs you of sales and leads without ever showing you the opportunities that have been lost.

That happens because new customers and referrals are likely to Google you, or look you up on their favorite social media platform, before they ever contact you. When they come across negative reviews, they are less likely to take the next step. Or, if they do decide to investigate more, they may be skeptical about your business. In that way, revenue can be lost even though a business owner isn’t aware of the real reason (or in some cases, that there was even a chance to make a sale in the first place).

So, how do you stop bad online feedback from affecting your bottom line? Here are some quick steps you can take starting today…

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Why You Want Web Hosting Through Your Web Designer

Did you go looking for the cheapest hosting you could find after you had someone design a website for your business? If so, you shouldn’t feel bad – experience tells us that’s the “normal” way for a small business owner to choose a place to park their new web presence.

However, a high-quality web design team (like the one we have) will recommend you host your site with the same company that designed it. That’s advice you should take, and today we are going to give you a few important reasons why.

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The X Factor in Web Design ROI

When business owners come to us for web design and Internet marketing, they generally want to know two things: first, will my site look great? And second, will it help me make more money?

The answer to the first question is easy. If you work with a talented creative team (and like their samples) you are very likely to get a beautiful web presence. The second question is a little trickier, however.

That’s because a lot of things go into the ROI you’ll get from a new website. There is the quality of the site itself, and the size of your market and the competition you’re facing, not to mention the strength of the marketing plan your team comes up with. Most importantly, though, there is a big X factor: how much work will you put into your own website?

If you expect to launch your new website and just have customers magically arrive, then you are likely to be disappointed. The launch of a new website is the start of your Internet marketing campaigns, not the end. To make your pages stand out, and to grow your bottom line, you have to pay attention to things like…

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The Advantages of Having Great Web Content

It’s unfortunate, but many business owners pay a lot more attention to the visual aspects of their website then they do the written ones. That’s understandable when you consider the power of good design, and the fact that most of us don’t consider ourselves to be great writers. But at the same time, it’s important to remember that having great web content gives your business some important advantages that can’t be gained otherwise.

To help you see why the writing on your web pages is so critical to the success of your site and Internet marketing efforts, let’s take a look at a few of the things that come to you when you use the right words online…

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5 DIY Online Marketing Video Tips

Online videos can change the results you get from your internet marketing overnight. They can add more punch and persuasion to your landing pages, help you to get more views on your social feeds, and open you up to an entirely new audience on YouTube.

The best part of this might be that the cost and complexity associated with producing online videos has gone way down in the last couple of years. Now, virtually any business owner or marketer can release fantastic clips if they are willing to put a little bit of time and effort into the project.

So, how do you make sure your clips stand out for the right reason? Here are five DIY online marketing video tips you can put to use right away…

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Adding More Personality to Your Social Media Marketing

In many ways, social media marketing is the great equalizer. That’s because it puts small businesses—and even small business owners—on par with Fortune 500 brands.

In fact, we would argue that the little guys actually have an advantage. That’s because most people don’t want to see big-budget advertising when they go on Facebook and Twitter. Instead, they want to follow their passions, find interesting and offbeat stories, and connect with other people. Each of those is at odds with the mass-media approach bigger corporations follow.

Knowing that, how can you use your social media advantage in an effective way? The short answer is to add more personality to your profiles and feed. Here are a few reminders to help you do exactly that…

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The Second Most Important Sales Page on Your Website

At any given moment, the most important selling point on your website is likely to be your home page or landing page, depending on which one is attracting the highest number of views. What a lot of small business owners fail to realize, however, is that the second most important sales page is one that’s often looked over

Years of studying web analytics have shown us that a companies “About” page gets more traffic than marketers realize. Moreover, the impression that it leaves a reader with will go a long way towards determining what will happen next. That’s particularly true if there are team member bios, or a story about the history of the business.

There are probably a couple of reasons for this. The first is that, as humans, we like to know other humans. That is, we want to know a bit more about the men and women we are doing business with. Looking into their bios and stories is a good way to understand who they are and how we might work together with them.

At the same time, the About page on your website tells potential customers what it is that makes you different from all of your competitors. It’s a chance to show off your unique skills, talent, or perspective. It’s your shot to fill them in on what sets you apart.

Knowing that, how can you make the most of your About page? Here are a few good tips to help you get started…

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4 Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your Website Today

Do you feel like your website could use a facelift, or perhaps a performance boost?

Often, we hear from business owners, managers, and executives who want to get more from their web presence, but they have been hesitant to give us a call. That’s because they are afraid that a short conversation will lead to a proposal for a brand-new website – one they might not need or be able to afford.

There certainly are times when it makes sense to build a new site from the ground up. However, if your pages were laid out in the last few years (and are mobile-compatible), you probably don’t need to start over.

Here are few steps you can take to make your website feel new without putting a major dent in your budget…

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Balancing Short vs. Long Term Internet Marketing Strategies

One of the fun things about the early days of internet marketing was that almost everything seemed to happen instantly. You put a website or ad online, promoted it, and could be assessing the results within hours.

There is still an aspect of instant gratification to working on the web, but the process of designing websites, planning campaigns, placing ads, and (especially) evaluating results has begun to stretch out. And so, we have reached a point where online marketing has come to represent traditional marketing, in that businesses need to balance short and long-term strategies if they want to get the best results.

With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways you can get the most out of both…

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4 Ways Your SEO Can Beat the AI System

For a lot of us, the term “artificial intelligence” brings back memories of sci-fi novels, movies, and comic books. But, what was once purely in the realm of the imagined has been made real – and it’s already affecting your business and SEO.

That’s because Google and other leading tech companies are already utilizing AI in a number of ways. In particular, the world’s largest search engine is using it to assess ranking factors, analyze searcher behavior, and re-organize search results on an individualized basis.

One of the great ironies of this is that even though Google is using artificial intelligence, it’s deploying it in a way that emphasizes the human touch in content creation and online engagement. To understand how that impacts you, here are a few tips to keep in mind as SEO goes sci-fi…

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7 Ways Clients Kill Their Own Websites

Most business owners think the biggest threat to their new website is a competitor that upgrades their internet marketing, a dissatisfied customer who leaves a bad review online, or maybe even an algorithm change from Google that dramatically shifts the search engine results.

In reality, though, many of the problems clients have turning a website into a source of new business are self-inflicted. In other words, they hurt their own chances by engaging in common but predictable blunders. To show you just how easy it is to make these kinds of mistakes, here are seven ways business owners and executives inadvertently kill their own websites…

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3 Problems with Template and DIY Websites

Do you really need a professional web designer to help you promote your company online, or can you just turn to one of the many template or DIY websites services out there?

The short answer is that you could certainly turn to one of those options, as thousands of business owners and managers undoubtedly do. If you want your website to be profitable, though, it’s probably best if you work with a proven team of creative professionals. We don’t say that because we want you to pay a higher fee—to us or anyone else—but because it’s the option that’s likely to lead to a profitable result.

To understand why, here are three common problems small businesses have with web templates and DIY websites…

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