Dekka Studios https://dekkastudios.com Charleston South Carolina web design, marketing, photography, video, virtual tours, FAA-licensed drone Mon, 19 Apr 2021 14:01:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 City Parks Alliance https://dekkastudios.com/2021/04/19/city-parks-alliance/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=city-parks-alliance Mon, 19 Apr 2021 13:44:23 +0000 https://dekkastudios.com/?p=12858

The Rail Park, Philadelphia, PA – April 17, 2021

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Invest in your business with a marketing budget https://dekkastudios.com/2017/04/06/internet-marketing-budget/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=internet-marketing-budget Thu, 06 Apr 2017 10:35:36 +0000 https://dekkastudios.com/?p=529

If you want to succeed at business, you need to grow. One of the best ways to grow is to invest in marketing.

Every business has unique marketing needs, but these days it’s safe to say that every business should be investing in internet marketing of some kind.

How much should your internet marketing budget be? For most small businesses the answer is 10 to 15 percent of sales. (The sad truth… most businesses only spend what they have to, which is often next to nothing. Imagine the lost growth potential.)

In which kinds of internet marketing should you be investing?

  • Website development. It all starts here. Without a modern, mobile-friendly website that is search engine optimized, you are swimming upstream.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO). Depending on how competitive your field is, you may need to spend thousands on SEO each month. “Ridiculous,” you may say. Why spend so much? The answer lies in your competition. They are investing heavily in it and they will bury you if you don’t fight back. Who said business is fair?
  • Video production. Every business should have at least one video that describes their business’ unique selling proposition. Most businesses should have a video at the top of every service page of their website. Don’t go it alone… use a firm that has the audio, video, and editing skills to make you stand out from your competition.
  • Photography. Most businesses create wonderful products, but they don’t invest in having them photographed for use on their website, video, or other marketing materials.
  • Google. Ensuring your Google business profile is accurate. In fact, many businesses have still failed to claim their business listing on Google, let alone had it populated completely with photos, video, description, hours, correct map locator, etc.
  • Social media. Regardless of your business category, every business should be participating in social media of some kind to spread the word, as well as engage customers.
  • Reputation management. Not surprisingly, many businesses have at least one zero-star rating on Google. Surprisingly, so many business owners don’t even realize that the bad review is out there… let alone realize that the bad review could be costing them to lose customers every single day.

If you don’t already use the services of a dedicated internet marketing firm, the time to start is right now. The return on investment is there.

And, if you already have an internet marketing firm, take a look at what they have done for you lately. How to know? Start at www.google.com and search for your business or service. You may be surprised what you see (or don’t see).

An internet marketing audit – one of our most recommended services and where we start with every one of our clients – reveals all your faults.

And we can recommend how to fix them.

But it all begins with having an internet marketing budget that enables us to help your business grow.

Marketing budget tips

  • Begin to save for marketing today. The longer you wait to start, the longer it will take for you to see results.
  • Review your current marketing efforts and trim ineffective ones.
  • Postpone a capital purchase such as a new vehicle; $30,000 can get many businesses a solid marketing foundation.
  • Hire an internet marketing agency that has a wide variety of skills and experience, rather than trying to go it alone.
  • Budget for continuous improvement. Marketing is an ongoing process… you won’t be done in just a couple weeks.

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Measure that website https://dekkastudios.com/2017/03/19/measure-that-website/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=measure-that-website Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:55:58 +0000 https://dekkastudios.com/?p=518

“What gets measured, gets done.”

While executives measure their business’ profits and losses, there’s one thing they often overlook measuring: their website.

“We just had our website done last year,” a potential client told me recently. “I’m sure it’s fine.”

But a quick check under the hood of the website showed an important piece was missing: Google Analytics, the industry standard in website analytics.

This little snippet of code communicates with Google every time someone visits your website and stores all kinds of wonderful information such as the visitor’s location, age, sex, browser, and device, as well as which pages someone viewed and how long he or she looked at them.

But the code wasn’t on their website, even though it was recently built.

All the website’s past visitors, user behavior, and knowledge were gone… never captured for review. (There’s no way to go back and recover that data since it wasn’t recorded in the first place.)

Another common problem we encounter: the code is installed but nobody knows how to access it. To access that information, you need access to the Google account that created the code.

Does your website have Google Analytics installed? Google explains how to check here or look in your website’s source code for references to analytics.js (for Universal Analytics) or ga.js (for classic Analytics).

If Google Analytics isn’t there, get it installed and start measuring your website!

Sifting through the data and reports will help you make business decisions based on actual customer behavior, rather than a hunch.

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Snow day? Google your business. https://dekkastudios.com/2017/03/13/snow-day-google-business/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=snow-day-google-business Mon, 13 Mar 2017 14:14:04 +0000 https://dekkastudios.com/?p=502

A snow day – rather than being a wasted business day – can be a great opportunity for business owners to step back and review your business’ online presence.

I talk to small business owners all the time and the most common thing I hear is that the day-to-day grind doesn’t leave time for reviewing their digital marketing.

“I’ll get to my website later!”

I’m here to tell you it can’t wait.

My advice: start with Google.

 

Google your business name

Load up www.google.com and search for your business’ name.

You may be surprised at what you see.

Did your website show up first? It definitely should if you searched for your business name. If not, a bigger problem may exist such as Google having banned your website, or your website being infected with malware.

Is the site’s title correct? The title is the big blue text area of the result. It should be your company’s name and location information (“XYZ Law Firm | City1 | City2| City3”). But we’ve often seen that region ignored, even on new websites, and showing up as “Homepage” or something generic which is not helping your search engine ranking.

Is the site’s description accurate? The description is the small text area that appears under the blue title. Often, this text – which is vitally important – simply contains the first paragraph of text found on your page. That is not ideal. It may not be an accurate description of your business and isn’t the way your business should appear for search engine optimization.

Sometimes your social media profiles will show up when you search for your business’ name. If they do, click on them all and see if they are accurate and being updated. If not, this is an area you should focus on improving.

Directory listings may also show up (such as Yelp and chambers of commerce). Review all these to be sure they are accurate and updated.

Your Google Business listing should also appear (on the right side of the page if you are using a desktop computer). If you didn’t manually create this listing, Google may have tried to make one for you. This is good and bad. Good because at least it’s there. But bad because it’s probably incomplete or incorrect. If the directory listing has a link that says “claim this business,” then it has been auto-generated and should be claimed via your primary business Google account, updated, and locked down from being claimed by someone else. (If you don’t have a primary business Google account, you need one. Go to www.google.com/business to get started). Your business hours should be added, too.

 

Google your competition

Did your competition just launch a new killer website or online feature? The only way to know is to look and this requires some poking around.

Search for regional competitors by name. Pay attention and check them all out. Go ahead and check pages two and three of the results, too. How do their websites look? Are they using social media? How frequently?

Search for national competitors (the big guys). See what they are doing and whether you can incorporate some of their ideas.

In the end, ask yourself who you would trust if you were a potential client.

 

Google your industry

Do a Google search for generic terms related to your business. Rather than searching for “XYZ Law Firm,” try a search for “lawyer near me” or a similar vague search term you think potential customers may use.

Where does your business show up?

You may be surprised to find a bunch of advertisements for competitors showing up before your business. Then, beneath all the ads, where does your website rank?

Depending on how you rank, this may point out the need to invest in online advertising, better search engine optimization (SEO), or a new website altogether.

Pull out your phone and try a voice search for your business. “Voice typos” are a growing area of concern and requires special handling. The most common thing you will find is that Siri or Cortana doesn’t understand the name of your business or name brands, and may change it into different words. So it’s important that your website is optimized to show up for the actual name, as well as the name Siri thinks she heard.

 

Google your location

Can people find your physical location? Check your Google Map marker; they are often wrong. Visit maps.google.com and search for your business name to check it out. Use satellite view to confirm that the Google marker is located correctly. If not, you’ll need to fix this.

Apple Maps is also important, too, because many new automobiles are using Apple Carplay for their navigation systems. Unfortunately, Apple Maps is often wrong, too, and requires that you check it manually and then submit corrections for review. The approval process can be daunting and requires an active website with corroborating information on it.

 

Conclusion

There are many aspects of online marketing, but Google is the cornerstone of it all right now. It’s hard to succeed if you aren’t optimized for Google.

Now get out there and play in the snow!

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What’s hurting your website? https://dekkastudios.com/2017/03/08/whats-hurting-website/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=whats-hurting-website Wed, 08 Mar 2017 14:02:34 +0000 https://dekkastudios.com/?p=495

Your doctor asks you, “Where does it hurt?”

It’s usually relatively easy to answer that question, but when it comes to your website’s aches and pains you might not even know where to start.

Sure, you might see the obvious signs of website illness:

  • “I haven’t been updated in four years.”
  • “I don’t work on mobile devices.”
  • “Google hates me.”

But don’t ignore the hidden signs of website distress:

  • Lack of online inquiries
  • Missing meta descriptions and page titles
  • Slow-loading pages
  • Illegally licensed images
  • Duplicate text
  • Broken links

Just as in real life, undiagnosed illnesses that are allowed to go untreated can end up killing you (or, in this case, your online business).

That’s why all of our website development projects start with a diagnosis and a recommended treatment plan.

We run your website through a thorough online wellness check that not only points out the obvious issues, but also the hidden ones that may be crippling your website’s effectiveness… and by extension, crippling your business.

Don’t let another day go by with a website that is hurting your business.

Call Dekka Studios at 610-704-4249 for a free website checkup.

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Passwords & Control: Avoid social media disaster https://dekkastudios.com/2016/09/04/passwords-control-avoid-social-media-disaster/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=passwords-control-avoid-social-media-disaster Sun, 04 Sep 2016 16:40:36 +0000 http://dekkastudios.com/?p=453

The call came early in the day.

“We’re losing an employee, and he ran all our social media accounts. We need to get everything switched over.”

What was once a relief – having an employee who took care of all that online stuff – became an emergency very quickly.

Usernames, passwords, emails, verification phone numbers and two-step login verification are all safeguards that protect your accounts, but can make it difficult, time-consuming and stressful when trying to wrest control of those accounts.

In this case, there was no cause for alarm and all the accounts were recovered, reset, cleaned up a bit and secured after about four hours of labor, but not every case gets resolved so easily.

Small businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are particularly susceptible to having just one employee who handles many online accounts.

Possible scenarios

  • An employee leaves amicably, but in a hurry due to a personal crisis
  • You fire an employee abruptly
  • You sense an employee is disgruntled and you worry they may do something rash

 

Possible stumbling blocks to taking control

  • Unknown usernames
    Sometimes they are email addresses, other times they are just usernames. Often they vary from account to account because individual usernames may have already been taken on a platform.
  • Unknown passwords
    Besides using the same password on everything, which you should not do, the next most common pitfall is someone who changes a password but doesn’t make a note of it anywhere.
  • Unknown telephone verification numbers
    Many accounts become locked after too many unsuccessful login attempts and require telephone verification to get back in, which can be problematic if the phone is the ex-employee’s cell phone.
  • Unknown email accounts
    Sometimes social media accounts get built using a variety of email addresses.

 

Suggestions

  • Plan, plan, plan! Don’t wait for a crisis to hit.
  • Have one sheet (kept in a safe, secure area) that lists the following: social media account name, login URL, username, password, the email account used to build the account, and the phone number tied to the account.
  • Do have different passwords for each account that are secure and hard to guess. But do NOT have five different email accounts and phone numbers associated with five social media accounts. It will drive you crazy when trying to conduct a password change among all your channels quickly.
  • Proactively switch each of these accounts to emails and phone numbers that are under your DIRECT control.
  • Once a quarter, TEST this entire list to get into each account. Sometimes passwords get changed unexpectedly, and the list doesn’t get updated. You can’t let that happen. Be sure everything works.
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What does a $500 website cost? https://dekkastudios.com/2016/07/12/500-website-cost/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=500-website-cost Tue, 12 Jul 2016 16:18:40 +0000 http://dekkastudios.com/?p=436

We all love a good deal.

Recently, I met with a client who had paid $500 for his last website. (In case you don’t know, that’s very cheap.)

This may sound like a trick question, but what did that $500 website cost?

Thousands of dollars.

You see, after the website went live they were sued. That’s right… Getty Images sued the company for the unauthorized use of a stock photo that the amateur student designer had copied from a Google image search and used without the proper licensing.

Image licensing is a huge deal and can cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees if not handled correctly from the very beginning.

Just as you would use a professional to handle your accounting, insurance and healthcare, you really need to be using a professional to handle the creation of your online marketing tools.

Not only will using the skills of a web professional help keep your website legal, they will also come up with many ideas that you may not have thought of on your own. These ideas (such as email marketing, social media outreach or online advertising) can actually help your business add thousands to its bottom line each month.

Everything we do at Dekka Studios has one goal: to help our clients earn multiples on the marketing dollars they invest with us.

Call 610-704-4249 and I’ll be happy to discuss how we can help your business.

 

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The phone call you’ll never get… from the client you never got https://dekkastudios.com/2016/05/02/phone-call-youll-never-get-client-never-got/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=phone-call-youll-never-get-client-never-got Mon, 02 May 2016 10:16:56 +0000 http://dekkastudios.com/?p=417

Ring. Ring.

“Hey, you don’t know me, but I decided to go with your competitor. I’m at lunch and while eating my grilled chicken salad, I was using my iPhone to look for a new vendor (supplier, partner) for that important project I’m working on. You know your website is horrible, right? Your home page took forever to load, and when it finally did, everything was cut off and the navigation wouldn’t work right. I gave up.

“Sorry, but my time is limited so I clicked on your competitor’s website, which loaded fast and looked professional. I quickly found what I wanted. I even watched a video that showed me how to use their product (service, feature) and read a blog post about changes they are making to improve it down the line. With one click I gave them my details and they called me right back to complete the deal.

“So, yeah, I just wanted to let you know I won’t ever be your customer.”

Reality check: you’ll never hear from customers you failed to capture.

Take action: conduct a website audit today and commit to making continuous and never ending improvements to your online marketing.

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