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                    [post_content] => The first half of 2020 was defined by the world-debut of COVID-19 but the second half is when we look to a brighter future.

Thankfully, the most drastic measures were temporary. As Virginia enjoys the growing freedom of phase 2 after June 5th, we leave behind sheltering-in-place. Non-essential travel, once strictly avoided, will soon be normal again.

We don’t need to dwell on the past, the uncertainty, the struggles of self-isolation and social distance. You've heard it all before.

But let's consider the past for a moment only inasmuch as it helps us to plan for a brighter future.

Tough Times Build a Stronger Future

Small businesses struggled during the pandemic. We know that's going to be a tough blow to the economy for a time. For the pessimist, that's the forecast for the immediate future. Small businesses are the lifeblood of America. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Businesses with fewer than 500 employees account for 48% of American jobs and 43.5% of GDP.” COVID-19 was an airborne sickness that spread rapidly throughout the globe. Because it was airborne, the best prevention measures were the ones that prevented people from breathing on each other in the same space. As a natural result, all the activities that involve hanging out in the same place screeched to a halt. In-person activities are the lifeblood of many small businesses. Small businesses are the lifeblood of America. It's this threat that has posed a new necessity for the business world: how does a small business innovate around stuck-at-home customers?

Necessity, the Mother of a New Digital Direction

Learning to stay at home meant learning to live via virtual connections. Phone calls replaced coffeeshop chitchats. Video calls replaced classrooms, office meetings, church and family gatherings.
Finding a lawn care business on Google replaced passing an eye-catching sign in your neighbor's yard.

Everyone has had to learn to make and maintain virtual connections.

For businesses, this means your online presence is no longer optional. Your customer base has had a crash course in how the internet helps them solve problems from the comfort and safety of their home. Even when it's safe to go out, they'll remember how much they didn't have. If you can do more from the comfort of your own home, why not? Even older demographics are shifting their habits. Statistics from post-COVID China are showing that online grocery orders were 4x higher than normal for users born in the 1960s. This shift can be the expectation for older folks in the U.S. as well. Defining how your business connects with customers virtually is now a necessity.

4 Strategies to Secure Your Business’s Digital Future

The internet has always enabled connections across geographical and physical space. Now, we have a new necessity for bridging gaps like never before. Here are 4 ways to future-proof your digital presence:

Be easy to find online with SEO

Potential customers are searching for you. If they're searching for you by name, they might find your website even if your site isn't optimized for search. But what happens when they are looking for other keywords related to your services and your industry? Optimizing your website for search engines increases the online visibility of your business. It helps your business show up in Google when homebound customers are searching for what you offer.

Create relevant content for your customer base

We all know that Google and other search engines are there to answer your questions, but who’s giving those answers? Every day, more and more people in our current digital landscape are asking questions like: Luckily, the best company to talk about how a lab tests for asbestos is an asbestos-testing lab. By answering that question, the laboratory puts themself in a win-win situation. The person who searched gets the answer they were looking for but, in the process, learns about the lab and grows to trust the lab as they learn more about them. Your business might be in the same boat. Perhaps your customers are asking questions about your business or your industry. Perhaps they don't know why they would need a service like yours. Maybe they are used to DIY solutions to what you could do much better for them. Educational resources on your website are an investment in overcoming this learning curve. When you write helpful blog posts or post how-to videos, potential customers become informed customers. When it comes time to call you up, they'll be more engaged with the value that you provide.

Streamline online channels for talking with customers

In the Post-COVID digital world, customers will be looking for ways to talk to you without leaving their homes. Phone calls still represent 60% of the ways customers prefer to reach out, That said, COVID has accelerated the rate at which your customers are willing to reach out to you via digital methods. A future-proof business should streamline the way customers reach out. The natural user flow on your website should draw readers toward easy ways to contact you. Beyond having these online contact methods available, you should plan how to improve them. Does the visitor to your website need a reminder that they can instant message you on Facebook? If they do, can they expect a quick reply? What are some ways that you can smooth your online pipeline of contacts? How can the process be just as friendly online as in person? In the digital future, there's more demand for online contact to sometimes take the place of in-person interactions. If you're not innovating, your competitor might be. Any hiccup in your process could send them straight to a more future-proof competitor.

Upgrade to e-commerce where possible

Depending on what you do, an e-commerce website might not be the best fit for you. Perhaps you can break your business down into shoppable items. Sometimes, a web design firm like us can add an online storefront to your already-existing website. Sometimes, the whole website needs a redesign. But, for those who can, e-commerce is a game-changer. With e-commerce, your customers can browse through your website, learn about what you offer and buy your products right there. The whole process takes place without putting on a face mask!

The Future Is Digital and It Is Bright

With a little help from a web design firm that knows a little something about digital marketing, your business can have a strong future. We've worked with companies on their digital marketing strategies. We've designed websites that have helped them complete the goals of those strategies. Above all else, our best offer for a business that needs to future-proof is our SEO services. We can run the numbers on how your website is ranking. We'll look at how it's performing with key ranking factors. Then, we'll discuss with you what steps we can take to position your website to be easy to find on Google. We want to help your business grow into this exciting post-COVID world. You can learn more about our SEO process and how we helped one of our clients increase online contact form requests by 357% in our “Worth the Premium” article. [post_title] => The Digital Future of Small Business Marketing [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-digital-future-of-small-business-marketing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-06 01:23:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-06 01:23:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.keywebconcepts.com/?p=7815 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8200 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-04-30 13:56:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-04-30 18:56:17 [post_content] =>

We understand how marketing can be a struggle for many small businesses.

There are limited resources. No business has deep enough pockets to throw endless spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. You need to know that your dollars are well-spent. You need to know what marketing tactics will bring in more business for your company and what won’t. That’s why, when we see that our clients are seeing good results from the work we do for them, we want to share it with you. We want to share with you not only what worked but why it worked. For this client, we saw a 40% average yearly increase in website visitors. Each year, the portion of those visitors that came from search engines increased 78% over the year before. After one whole year of SEO services, they were receiving 357% as many requests for quotes through their website than the year before. Who was this client and what did we do to grow their online marketing? (**Before we get started, we cannot stress enough how results will vary based on factors outside of our control. Your industry, local competition and offline word of mouth are huge factors that we can’t change. More about this at the end.)

Meet the Best Car Wash Pit Cleaning Company We Know

Pit Crew doesn’t just clean car wash pits like any cheap, fly-by-night company with a field to illegally bury the waste in. They process the pit waste in a dedicated processing center in Suffolk County, Virginia. They also don’t process any other type of waste besides car wash pit waste. This makes them more efficient, (and therefore more affordable) than environmental companies that provide the same service. Better quality without costing a whole lot more than the cheap options-- it was a business model that needed to be shared with the world. When Pit Crew came to us, they didn’t have a website. We built them a custom-coded WordPress website and then offered a Premium SEO Plan that would include: In general, the leap from no website to an active online presence contributed heavily to their growth. But more than that, each line item in their Premium SEO Plan showed good return on their investment.

Website Optimization Put Them on the Map

Pit Crew’s new website launched in mid-2017 with initial SEO included in the launch. This means that the website was designed with SEO standards in mind from the very beginning. The web design blended a good looking website with good content. The site structure included services pages for the three main types of car washes they service. The text included keywords that car wash owners use. The meta descriptions and title tags were filled out. The website was made to be easy for search engines to crawl and index. Everything was set up for success. In the matter of a few months, the website ranked 1st for very specific search queries like “car wash waste removal service” and was on the first page of Google for broader queries like “car wash tank cleaning” and “car wash pit cleaning.”
In late 2017, the website averaged 287 visitors per month. On average, 32% (86 sessions) of this traffic came from search engines.

Ongoing Search Engine Optimization Kept Them On Top

The initial website optimizations were enough to get the website on the map but we didn’t stop there. All of our monthly SEO plans include time each month to look at the website analytics and determine where to optimize further. We keep a close eye on how websites rank in top search engines for important keywords and key phrases. We also watch how other competitors are ranking and whether there is anything we should do to keep up. We also notice how visitors are behaving on websites and look for ways to help them find what they’re looking for. For example, the process page began as a short description of what Pit Crew does for its customers and why Pit Crew does it better than the competition. After looking at the pages that are typically read on the website, we saw that the process page was a bridge between the home page and the contact page. It was an important link between landing on the homepage and deciding to get in touch with Pit Crew. We rewrote and lengthened the process page. After a phone call with Pit Crew’s owner, we had enough details to be more persuasive. We included details about what Pit Crew does differently and even embedded Pit Crew’s promotional YouTube video. The result? More website visitors stuck around on the page to read everything it said. A month after the process page was rewritten, the number of page views increased by 39% and the average time on the page increased by 47%.
Because more visitors read about what made Pit Crew such a good choice, 3 times as many went on to visit the contact page to see how they could get in touch.
It’s research like this that makes a monthly search engine optimization plan worth it. But the monthly research we do for our websites goes even further than that. Because we see what typical searches bring visitors to your website, we can figure out what else they are searching for. We can see what other questions they could be asking. And then we ask ourselves: how can we answer these questions?

Blog Posts Attracted More Traffic

A website is like a book. If there isn’t a whole lot to see or read, you can flip through it and toss it to the side. When a website doesn’t have a lot of content on it, there isn’t a lot to see or read. Search engines like Google have fewer pages to show to searchers. Visitors have fewer pages to read and generally get less out of your website. They click around a bit and then leave. Writing blog posts, however, opens up a world of resources for your website visitors. You can write about your business and what’s new with your services. You can educate them on why they need your services. You can talk to them about topics that they are interested in. With time in an SEO plan to write blog posts, we can have four concentric circles of topics on the website instead of just one:
  1. Information about your business (already included in other web pages)
  2. What’s new with your services (blog posts)
  3. Why your customers need services like yours (blog posts)
  4. Other topics your customers are interested in (blog posts)

Sharing Updates in Blog Posts

To share updates about Pit Crew, we wrote blog posts like: Altogether, these blog posts received 307 views in the past 2 years. While it’s always good to share updates about your business, this relatively low view count shows why talking entirely about yourself isn’t the most interesting topic for others to read. The casual website visitor doesn’t randomly wonder what your business is up to these days while they go about their day. Pie chart of blog post pageviews by category with Update blog post category highlighted in green as 5% of total pageviews So what are Pit Crew’s website visitors really asking themselves?

Educating Why Your Services Are Necessary

A car wash owner often disposes of their pit waste themselves. While they do this, the thought strikes them, “is the sludge from car wash pits hazardous?” How do we know this? Well, thanks to our monthly SEO Plan, we have time to do the research. We talk with our clients. We use time on social media to join forums where car wash owners are asking these questions. We see the data that shows how much traffic volume specific keywords get. That’s why we wrote these blog posts: They answer the questions Pit Crew’s clients are already asking themselves (and asking Google). No, sludge from car wash pits is not hazardous but yes, car wash owners are responsible for the debris and yes, there are 5 things that, if a car wash owner knew, they would think twice about cleaning their pits themselves and immediately hire Pit Crew. Unsurprisingly, these blog posts and others like them have received 1,951 views in total over the life of the website. By sharing a wealth of knowledge with their website visitors, Pit Crew put their name in front of hundreds of car wash owners. Pie chart of blog post pageviews by category with Education blog post category highlighted in blue as 29% of total pageviews While these blog posts answer the questions that Pit Crew’s website visitors are asking themselves, how often do they really ask? Once every few months, they might wonder why they are cleaning smelly car wash pits themselves. Maybe once a year, they wonder how the process could be improved. It probably doesn’t keep them up at night. So what keeps Pit Crew’s website visitors up at night?

Talking About What Car Wash Owners Talk About

Car wash owners might sometimes think about how they dispose of pit waste but you know what they think of all the time? How their car wash business can be profitable. How do we know this? You guessed it! We see the traffic every month. We see the search engine data. We saw that questions like “is a car wash profitable?” and “are car wash subscriptions worth it?” were being searched on a daily basis. That’s why we wrote blog posts about topics that are related to the car wash industry like: Some of the information could be read by just about anyone interested in car washes. Some of it would only pique the interest of someone who owned a car wash. It was blog posts like that that put Pit Crew on the same level as the car wash industry magazines that car wash owners are reading in their free time. We paid special attention to the blog posts that only car wash owners would read. Take, for instance, the blog post “Calculating Cash Flow for Your Car Wash Business.” There were a lot of scattered articles on the web about how to figure out if your car wash business is profitable. Very few of them tied everything together with a step-by-step guide, research on industry average and screenshots of an excel spreadsheet a car wash owner could make at home. So that’s what we did. This 1611-word behemoth is 8 times as long as the next ranking blog post when you search for “car wash cash flow” (which was written by a car wash industry magazine). It describes and links to resources about a topic that is unlikely to be read by anyone besides car wash business owners. It builds awareness for Pit Crew and puts their business name in front of potential customers. It builds trust in Pit Crew as a resource that helps business owners, even if it doesn’t directly contribute to Pit Crew’s bottom line.
And it paid off. In the past month, this blog post alone has shown up in Google 5,986 times and received 277 clicks from Google.
Blog posts like the cash flow blog post bring more visitors to Pit Crew’s website than either of the two other categories we’ve talked about so far. They resulted in 4,393 views over the lifetime of the website. Pie chart of blog post pageviews by category with Update blog post category highlighted in yellow as 66% of total pageviews

The Final Tally on Blog Posts

Scatter plot graph with number of blog posts on the x axis and number of monthly sessions on the y axis. The trendline swoops up into the right showing that the monthly sessions increase with the number of blog posts on the website. The 26 blog posts currently written for the Pit Crew website have a total of 6,651 views over the lifetime of the website. That’s 6,651 times that a website visitor has read something they find useful. 6,651 times that a website visitor was exposed to the name Pit Crew with the phone number 804-PIT-CREW at the top of their screen. 6,651 times more traffic than a website without a blog section and monthly blog posts. The blogging portion of the Premium SEO Plan is all about taking a website from being a small booklet without much to read to a colorful magazine that attracts website traffic.

Social Media Reaches the Right Crowd

As we mentioned earlier, talking only about yourself in blog posts doesn’t bring in much traffic. People aren’t as interested in your affairs as you are. You have to talk to them about topics that they are interested in. Social media is one way to join in the conversation. It gives small businesses an opportunity to go where their customers are every single day. That’s what we did with Pit Crew. We didn’t just post about Pit Crew’s services over and over again. We used the social media time to follow car wash Facebook pages and react to their posts. This way we were interacting with Pit Crew’s potential customers. We also joined a Facebook group for car wash owners. This group actively discusses what it takes to run a successful car wash and some of the struggles they have. Car wash owners even talk about how much they hate cleaning their own car wash pits. By interacting with the group as Pit Crew, we could talk with and ask questions of car wash owners. We could be there to celebrate their successes and sympathize with their struggles. We could use some of their questions as research for our blog posts. It was only through joining in the conversations that car wash owners were already having that we could occasionally talk about how Pit Crew could be a good fit for them. After a single, well-timed comment on a post in the Facebook group, three car wash owners immediately requested quotes. We helped Pit Crew go where the right crowd was already gathering and join in the conversation.
In total, social media has resulted in 692 visits to the Pit Crew website.

Was It Worth the Premium?

Each part of Pit Crew’s SEO plan has contributed to attracting more visitors to their website. But what has the real impact been over time? Although many of the visitors to the website choose to call pit crew directly, a handful submit a contact form on the website.
Between 2018 and 2019, the average number of contact form submissions per month increased by 357%.
That’s all we have to say about that. So now you have to ask: is your business worth the premium?

Disclaimers About This Case Study

We Can’t Take All the Credit

We can’t take credit for all of the website traffic increase for Pit Crew. In addition to the services that we provide, they are also using a Pay-Per-Click company for paid traffic to the website. According to the website analytics, about 6.14% of the clicks (996 clicks) to the website came from this channel.

Results May Vary

Results will vary. Not all of our SEO clients see this large of an increase in traffic. Then again, not all of our SEO clients are on our Premium SEO Plan. Not all of our clients choose a custom-coded web design with Key Web. Not all of our clients work with us from the very beginning of their online presence and stay with us for 3 years. But, most importantly, not all of our clients have the unique corner on their market that Pit Crew has. Pit Crew isn’t just the largest company that cleans car wash pits. They are the only car wash pit cleaning company on the East Coast that only cleans car wash pits. It’s what they’re best at because it’s all they do. You may not have a unique position in your market. Competition might be fiercer. The tactics we used with Pit Crew could be like machine guns in a knife fight but, in your industry, everyone else is using nuclear bombs.

Results Vary, But We’re Flexible

Key Web has provided SEO services for dozens of SEO clients. We’ve seen times when one method worked and times when we had to use a different tactic. We’ll be happy to talk to you about your unique business and see what we can do for you. [post_title] => Worth the Premium: An SEO Case Study [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => worth-the-premium-an-seo-case-study [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-07 19:10:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-07 19:10:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.keywebconcepts.com/?p=7734 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7558 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-08-09 12:28:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-09 17:28:34 [post_content] => As a Richmond SEO and web design company, the websites that we build and manage are engineered to be easier to find in search engines… but what happens when Google changes the rules of the game? Unfortunately, we don’t own Google or have a key to its backend. Helping your website ranking higher in search results isn’t as easy as opening up a back panel and banging around with a monkey wrench until we get the results we want. In this article, we would like to cover why Google updates its algorithm and how an SEO company like Key Web Concepts stays ahead of these updates.

Technological Checks & Balances in the Information Age

Lucky for the integrity of the information that we rely on for everyday queries, no one person controls the systems in place to determine what shows up for “best taco restaurant in richmond va.” If one person or one entity were capable of changing the results so easily, they would probably choose their favorites. This would either skew public opinion in favor of a personal preference, as people take Google at its word, or skew public opinion of Google as their results show clear bias. Instead, there is a complex algorithm that is at the heart of what gets ranked on Google. For example, if the query is “what is the best taco restaurant in richmond va?” we would expect Google to weigh each of the tiniest bits of information it has about that particular business and calculate whether it really is the best. Weighing out the complexity of factors that encompass the “best” of anything is a complicated equation. If you were to brainstorm a list of all the information you could possibly find online to evaluate a restaurant’s quality, it could include lots of information. Some of it might be more relevant than others. Does a food critic’s negative critiques override dozens of satisfied locals? As you can imagine Google has its work cut out for it. With over 200 ranking factors to weigh out in a fraction of a second, a simple search query requires a very complicated algorithm. Naturally, this algorithm needs a little maintenance from time to time. Warm-blooded human quality testers give feedback on whether Google’s cold, robotic evaluations spit out answers a human could trust. Otherwise, Google would be telling users that horses have six legs and carrots cure cancer. It’s easy to see how this could get dangerous. Goof-ups in the algorithm show how Google may sometimes confuse popularity with credibility. It could also confuse thorough coverage of a subject with expert knowledge on the subject. Long-windedness doesn’t automatically make you right in the real world but how can Google tell the difference? According to Google’s announcement on their Webmaster Central Blog on August 1st, the core algorithm update was designed to improve the credibility of search results. The article goes on to explain that websites with quality content have nothing to worry about.

How Does Google Determine Quality Content?

Because we know that Google’s main goal is to curate trustworthy information from around the web relevant to user queries, we have some assurance in even the most significant algorithm updates. There is a baseline goal that provides a compass for every SEO to consistently rank well no matter what trends or updates sway his vessel....
Does the information on this website contribute worthwhile, trustworthy insight to search users?
Every time an SEO-minded web design company creates a new website, they must think of this singular goal of contributing something to the World Wide Web that will be beloved by all, cherished, shared on social media, and possibly even framed on the walls of their most ardent fans. For different types of websites, conveying both uniqueness and quality looks differently. For informational websites, contributing something uniquely valuable can look like a research paper, a new insight based on statistics, or the expert advice from a published author in the field. When it comes to business websites, the business owner is already a certified authority of his subject matter in the real world. We just have to convey this in the digital world. This could be accomplished with testimonials verifying your trustworthiness or your list of certifications and experience. Your marketing strategy can determine your unique strengths and what makes your business a go-to place for your most loyal customers. Asking the right questions about your business should generate content for your website that is uniquely valuable to your customers.

Evaluating Your Current Site’s Content Quality

In Google’s blog post, they highlight some helpful questions to determine what they consider to be quality content. I’ve reproduced some of those questions here for you to get a general idea of the high standards that Google would like to see in the websites it ranks. If you have a website currently, it would be a big help to read some of the questions and ask yourself if your website satisfies these requirements.

Google Content Quality Guidelines

(You can read the full list of evaluation questions on the Google blog post or read the 166-page search quality rater guidelines.)

What Key Web Does to Align With Google’s Quality Standards

As we’ve covered previously, SEO is an industry rife with cheap tricks to try to outwit search engines into placing them at the top. Some of the SEO companies offering these services are somehow able to promise better results for a cheaper price tag than Key Web could ever compete with. Some of their secrets to keeping prices down include: At worst, some of these companies are cutting corners with hiring non-native English writers from overseas and using copy and paste methods of duplicating websites for multiple clients. At best, they recognize the benefit of unique content but their rates are too low to cover writing well-researched articles. The problem is that you get what you pay for with cheap SEO companies. To keep costs down, they don’t budget enough time to produce quality work. With maybe an hour or two of time devoted to analyzing rankings and looking for errors throughout your site, only a small portion of that is used to write a blog post. While the blog post counts as new, fresh content on the site Google to crawl, it makes the same common sense points that anyone off the street with only a nominal knowledge of the subject could make. The fluff doesn’t last and it doesn’t establish the site’s authority in Google as a trusted source.

Optimizing Your Website for Uniqueness & Quality

Before ever putting pen to paper or drawing up outlines of your website’s structure, we meet with our clients and make a point of discussing their business’s unique strengths, their marketing strategy as a whole, and how their digital marketing strategy fits into all of this. Our goal is to consider what it is that the website can say that will be most valuable to the users who visit it. For many of our clients, we recommend a UX Strategy Session to create customer profiles that aid in the user experience of your website. We also start from scratch with custom WordPress web development and create homepage and subpage designs that are unlike any other out-of-the-box template. This enables us to start with a blank canvas and get creative with your site. That’s why major core algorithm updates don’t bother us. We know that what we do is solidly rooted in 22 years of combined team experience in SEO and a genuine desire to contribute good content to the web. [post_title] => The Mid-2019 Google Algo Update: Quality Matters [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => google-algo-update-quality-matters [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-07 18:36:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-07 18:36:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.keywebconcepts.com/?p=7558 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7531 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-08-01 14:21:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-01 19:21:04 [post_content] => Let’s talk about how much website design should cost with a little analogy. Let’s say that you walk into a used car lot and ask the dealer to show you the least expensive car in the lot. He walks you over to a hunk of junk hidden in the back corner of the lot where it wouldn’t be a visible eyesore from the road. “This is the cheapest car we have,” he says with some shame knowing such a rundown rust bucket is permitted to tarnish his otherwise presentable car lot. “But you have to understand that there are a lot of things broken on it. If you have the budget for something slightly better, you could possibly get one of these…” “Shh…” you say as you begin to count the wheels on the car. “One. Two. Three. Four. Yep, that’s a car alright. I’ll get it.” This approach to car buying would be ridiculous. Sure, all cars have four wheels. Sure, passing up one 4-wheeled vehicle for a much cheaper version of the same thing may seem attractive to someone who wants to be wise with their money. But there is so much more to what you are buying than that. You have to consider the age of the vehicle, the mileage, the state of the transmission and whether the rust on the undercarriage will make your purchase utterly worthless in less than 6 months.

Cost vs. Price: Consider What You’re Getting

The illustration of the bargain-shopping car-purchaser highlights a common dilemma when it comes to buying anything that isn’t immediately disposable.
If you are going to have to live with your purchase for any amount of time afterwards, buying something has two costs: initial and ongoing.
With website design, this is also the case. Paying for a poorly-designed website or avoiding paying entirely by trying to do it yourself may seem attractive for its low initial price. However, when you consider the ongoing cost of a cheap website, the real cost starts to add up.

Cheap Web Design Can Be a Waste of Money

There are many reasons to hire a web design company to create a custom appearance for your internet presence. As a business owner, your website is your professional introduction on the internet. If you pay an unprofessional company to design your website, the result will make your company look unprofessional. Besides reflecting poorly on your brand, a cheaply-built website is hard to navigate and doesn’t translate website visitors into customers who are thrilled with your product/service. Pretty soon, the ongoing cost of operation eats up your initial savings and spits out the bones. Worse than a cheap car limping in and out of mechanic shops just to stay on the road, a bad website can be a sinkhole of lost profit opportunities without you even knowing it.

Free Website Builders Can Be a Waste of Time

While cheap web design companies can be a waste of money, free website builders can be a waste of time. Many of these low-cost solutions promise a quick and easy way to create a professional website without hiring a web design firm. The problem is that, unless it’s your business to create websites on these platforms on a regular basis, designing a website on a free website builder is almost guaranteed to take away time from your business. Even on the most intuitive website builders there is a new interface to learn and decisions you must make about what your website should say and why. This raises the question then of what your time as a business owner is worth. The longer you spend on your website, trying to watch tutorial videos late at night, trying to understand fundamental design, trying to understand marketing funnels, advertising psychology and user experience, the longer you are kept from doing what you are supposed to be doing -- running your business. Is that time you can afford to spend? What’s more is that the end result of your efforts might not hold a candle to one of your competitors who opted for a professional website design firm.

Talk About Why You Need a Website

When you have the proper perspective on your need for a website, you can more accurately evaluate the qualities that make one website design company more worth the price than another. Here are a few questions you could ask yourself: When you consider the above questions going into web design shopping, you can more accurately assess how you evaluate the real cost and value of a web design. With more ambitious goals, the cost goes up but so does the value that you are getting for your money.

How Much Should I Expect to Pay for a Website from Key Web?

The Value of a Custom Web Design from Key Web Concepts

Here at Key Web Concepts, we believe in giving you as much value for your dollar as we can. This value starts with your initial consultation. We spend time meeting with you in-person or on the phone at your discretion to talk about what your needs are and how we can best approach designing your website. We then give you a proposal with the estimate cost and ask that you meet with us for a user experience strategy session. In this meeting we delve into who your customer really is and how your site can improve their understanding of what your company has to offer thus increasing the likelihood that they will become a customer. We then optimize your website’s text and visual elements for both your users who are visiting your website and for search engines where users can discover your website. The end result is a website that attracts visitors and turns them into valuable customers.

The Cost of Designing a Website With Us

As you can see from our process, while the steps for designing your website remain the same, how we execute each step of a web design varies drastically from client to client. We don’t cut corners by recycling templates from one website design to another. Because of the variety of needs and goals that we encounter, our pricing structure is based on the hours we will actually put into creating your website. So, unfortunately and fortunately, there isn’t one set price that we can quote for a website. We can, however, tell you that the typical cost of new, fully-customized, search engine optimized and mobile-responsive website from Key Web is less than half of what you might spend on a used car. That hardly sounds like a lemon to us! [post_title] => How Much Should a Website Design Cost? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => how-much-should-a-website-design-cost [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-06 01:31:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-06 01:31:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.keywebconcepts.com/?p=7531 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 4 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8202 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-06-16 14:17:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-06-16 19:17:59 [post_content] => The first half of 2020 was defined by the world-debut of COVID-19 but the second half is when we look to a brighter future. Thankfully, the most drastic measures were temporary. As Virginia enjoys the growing freedom of phase 2 after June 5th, we leave behind sheltering-in-place. Non-essential travel, once strictly avoided, will soon be normal again. We don’t need to dwell on the past, the uncertainty, the struggles of self-isolation and social distance. You've heard it all before. But let's consider the past for a moment only inasmuch as it helps us to plan for a brighter future.

Tough Times Build a Stronger Future

Small businesses struggled during the pandemic. We know that's going to be a tough blow to the economy for a time. For the pessimist, that's the forecast for the immediate future. Small businesses are the lifeblood of America. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Businesses with fewer than 500 employees account for 48% of American jobs and 43.5% of GDP.” COVID-19 was an airborne sickness that spread rapidly throughout the globe. Because it was airborne, the best prevention measures were the ones that prevented people from breathing on each other in the same space. As a natural result, all the activities that involve hanging out in the same place screeched to a halt. In-person activities are the lifeblood of many small businesses. Small businesses are the lifeblood of America. It's this threat that has posed a new necessity for the business world: how does a small business innovate around stuck-at-home customers?

Necessity, the Mother of a New Digital Direction

Learning to stay at home meant learning to live via virtual connections. Phone calls replaced coffeeshop chitchats. Video calls replaced classrooms, office meetings, church and family gatherings.
Finding a lawn care business on Google replaced passing an eye-catching sign in your neighbor's yard.

Everyone has had to learn to make and maintain virtual connections.

For businesses, this means your online presence is no longer optional. Your customer base has had a crash course in how the internet helps them solve problems from the comfort and safety of their home. Even when it's safe to go out, they'll remember how much they didn't have. If you can do more from the comfort of your own home, why not? Even older demographics are shifting their habits. Statistics from post-COVID China are showing that online grocery orders were 4x higher than normal for users born in the 1960s. This shift can be the expectation for older folks in the U.S. as well. Defining how your business connects with customers virtually is now a necessity.

4 Strategies to Secure Your Business’s Digital Future

The internet has always enabled connections across geographical and physical space. Now, we have a new necessity for bridging gaps like never before. Here are 4 ways to future-proof your digital presence:

Be easy to find online with SEO

Potential customers are searching for you. If they're searching for you by name, they might find your website even if your site isn't optimized for search. But what happens when they are looking for other keywords related to your services and your industry? Optimizing your website for search engines increases the online visibility of your business. It helps your business show up in Google when homebound customers are searching for what you offer.

Create relevant content for your customer base

We all know that Google and other search engines are there to answer your questions, but who’s giving those answers? Every day, more and more people in our current digital landscape are asking questions like: Luckily, the best company to talk about how a lab tests for asbestos is an asbestos-testing lab. By answering that question, the laboratory puts themself in a win-win situation. The person who searched gets the answer they were looking for but, in the process, learns about the lab and grows to trust the lab as they learn more about them. Your business might be in the same boat. Perhaps your customers are asking questions about your business or your industry. Perhaps they don't know why they would need a service like yours. Maybe they are used to DIY solutions to what you could do much better for them. Educational resources on your website are an investment in overcoming this learning curve. When you write helpful blog posts or post how-to videos, potential customers become informed customers. When it comes time to call you up, they'll be more engaged with the value that you provide.

Streamline online channels for talking with customers

In the Post-COVID digital world, customers will be looking for ways to talk to you without leaving their homes. Phone calls still represent 60% of the ways customers prefer to reach out, That said, COVID has accelerated the rate at which your customers are willing to reach out to you via digital methods. A future-proof business should streamline the way customers reach out. The natural user flow on your website should draw readers toward easy ways to contact you. Beyond having these online contact methods available, you should plan how to improve them. Does the visitor to your website need a reminder that they can instant message you on Facebook? If they do, can they expect a quick reply? What are some ways that you can smooth your online pipeline of contacts? How can the process be just as friendly online as in person? In the digital future, there's more demand for online contact to sometimes take the place of in-person interactions. If you're not innovating, your competitor might be. Any hiccup in your process could send them straight to a more future-proof competitor.

Upgrade to e-commerce where possible

Depending on what you do, an e-commerce website might not be the best fit for you. Perhaps you can break your business down into shoppable items. Sometimes, a web design firm like us can add an online storefront to your already-existing website. Sometimes, the whole website needs a redesign. But, for those who can, e-commerce is a game-changer. With e-commerce, your customers can browse through your website, learn about what you offer and buy your products right there. The whole process takes place without putting on a face mask!

The Future Is Digital and It Is Bright

With a little help from a web design firm that knows a little something about digital marketing, your business can have a strong future. We've worked with companies on their digital marketing strategies. We've designed websites that have helped them complete the goals of those strategies. Above all else, our best offer for a business that needs to future-proof is our SEO services. We can run the numbers on how your website is ranking. We'll look at how it's performing with key ranking factors. Then, we'll discuss with you what steps we can take to position your website to be easy to find on Google. We want to help your business grow into this exciting post-COVID world. You can learn more about our SEO process and how we helped one of our clients increase online contact form requests by 357% in our “Worth the Premium” article. [post_title] => The Digital Future of Small Business Marketing [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-digital-future-of-small-business-marketing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-06 01:23:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-06 01:23:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.keywebconcepts.com/?p=7815 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 36 [max_num_pages] => 9 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => 1 [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => ef0f2f8d04452b7f051c9fd6dc322a94 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

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Learn from our insights

We know our industry can have its complications. Between editing metadata and analyzing backlinks, we like to spend a little time writing posts on this section of our website. It’s our platform for explaining the specifics of what we do, what’s changing and why it matters to you.