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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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 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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Are You About to Hire the Wrong Web Design Team?

Every business owner and executive in the world wants to get the best web design and internet marketing help they can afford. But what does “the best” really mean in this context?

That’s a question that confounds a lot of people. It’s so easy to find yourself paying a deposit to a creative team and then regretting it later. That’s obviously a situation you want to avoid. Today we want to point out four red flags that suggest you’re about to hire someone who can’t give you the kind of work you need…

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5 Trends Shaping Internet Marketing in 2017

You’ve probably read a lot of 2017 predictions lately. That shouldn’t be a surprise – experts have predictions on politics, sports, the economy, and even which movies win awards in the coming months. But, while a lot of these forecasts will be hit-and-miss, we have a few online marketing trends that are virtually certain to make an impact in your business this year.

How can we be so confident? It’s easy, these are industry-defining movements that are already underway. In other words, they are affecting your business right now, whether you are aware of them are not.

Smart marketers are doing everything they can to stay ahead of the curve. To help you do the same, here are five big trends that will continue to shape the internet marketing landscape in 2017 and beyond…

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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 Reasons Most Websites Fail

When business owners and their web design teams launch a site, it’s usually with high hopes and big expectations. Before long, though, those feelings are highly likely to turn to regret and disappointment.

That’s because most business websites fail. They don’t attract enough visitors to affect marketing, fail to help a company stand out, and make no appreciable difference on the bottom line (beyond the sizeable sums that are spent to design them).

Believe it or not, that’s as bad for companies like mine as it is for businesses like yours. When clients are disappointed with their new websites, they are hesitant to invest in online marketing again. And more often than not, they tell their colleagues to avoid making the same mistake.

The mistake isn’t getting a new website, though, it’s going about it the wrong way. I’ve learned again and again over the years that businesses—and especially small business—make the same few blunders that hold them back. To help you avoid them, here are three big reasons most new websites fail…

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Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Search Engine Optimization?

For decades, science fiction writers have been wondering what effects supercomputers and artificial intelligence might have on society. However, as technology advances, it’s those of us in internet marketing that end up the most affected.

In fact, there are some who think artificial intelligence will replace an online marketing staple in the next few years. But could AI really render search engine optimization obsolete? And should you be worried as a marketer?.

To find the answers, here are a few things we have to keep in mind…

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Why Responsive Web Design is Being Replaced by Mobile First Marketing

For the last few years, responsive web design has been a huge trend in our industry. And it still is the recommended way to think about building a new website or upgraded web presence. However, we’re starting to see a slow shift in terminology and perspective. Instead of “responsive” websites that are “mobile compatible,” marketers are taking a “mobile first” approach to their sites.

Is this just a difference in wording, or something bigger? To get to the answer, there are a few things we need to think about

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3 Web Design Difference-makers You Can’t Overlook

A lot of business owners don’t realize that it truly can be the little things that make all the difference when it comes to establishing a strong and profitable website design and presence. Items like layouts, logos, and headlines are important, but many of our clients tend to overlook a few special touches that can help them gain an edge over their competitors.

Here are three web design difference-makers to consider to make the most of your business website and web value…

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4 Errors Which Derail the Value of Your Website

Small issues can create large problems. For instance, something as simple as a broken link breaks the flow of your website and may prevent leads from contacting your firm. It’s important to be aware of seemingly innocuous errors that can sabotage your site.

Here are four common, easy-to-miss web errors that lower your website value…

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Your Lowest Hanging Fruit is Your Mobile Web Presence, This is How to Capitalize.

We’re long past the point where a responsive or mobile optimized web presence is a “nice-to-have.” Findings from KPCB show that time spent on mobile in the US has increased to 51%, compared to 42% for PCs. Knowing this, we must come to the conclusion that if we’re not reaching mobile prospects via mobile organic (unpaid) search, we’re losing those prospects to competitors who are. Beyond the visibility factor, the lack of a quality mobile user experience of your website has some serious implications.

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The Best (and Worst) Ways to Pick a Web Designer

Choosing a web designer sounds easy. They’re certainly enough of us out there to make finding one a snap, and we all have portfolios of work that should make it easy to select the right style and move forward from there.

As any business owner who has been burned by the wrong creative team can tell you, however, there’s a lot more to finding the right web designer than firing up Google and seeing who has the right artistic style. In fact, that’s one of the easiest ways to waste money and find yourself frustrated.

With that in mind, let us share with you the best and worst ways to pick a web designer to work with…

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Do You Need a Custom WordPress Theme?

If the decision to use WordPress as the platform for your new business website is easy, figuring out how to build the WordPress pages you want might not be. That’s because business owners and marketers are immediately hit with a sometimes confusing question: do you need a custom WordPress theme, or can you build from an existing template?

The advantages of using a template are clear – they cost less and don’t take much time to implement. So, if you’re in a hurry, or on a budget, having your website built from a template can seem like a natural choice.

Before you make that decision in a hurry, though, remember there are some powerful benefits to having a custom WordPress theme designed for your website. It’s the online equivalent of having a suit that’s tailored just for you, instead of buying “off the rack.” That brings some visual advantages, of course, but also a few added bits of functionality and security.

Here are a few advantages of custom WordPress themes to keep in mind…

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