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                    [post_content] => In today’s digital age, every business owner has some sort of online presence. Some stick to a regularly updated Facebook page, while others have invested in a boilerplate website.

Yet it’s easy to forget about that website, especially if you conduct all your business in person. While you may not see it as a vital part of your business, your website is actually a key component of your brand and marketing.

More and more people are finding their needs online, and they want to work with businesses that understand that need. If you’re still rocking a Wix site from 2015, it’s time for an upgrade.

First Impressions Are Everything

For most potential customers, your website is the first impression of your business. According to a study conducted by Google, 49% of users discover new items or products through Google searches. And according to SEO Tribunal, 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. Your site also needs to be mobile friendly. Most people have easier access to their phone than to a computer. That might explain why 61% of mobile users are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site. In terms of Google search visibility, your website’s design can greatly affect your ranking on Google. 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results. So if your website isn’t optimized for what users are searching for, you could be lost in the thousands of search results. More importantly, The first 5 seconds of a page’s load time are the most critical when it comes to conversion rates. Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with every second a page loads, according to Portent. These stats show one thing: You have mere seconds to convince potential customers to stay on your website, let alone actually read through it and contact you. It’s clear website design is more important than ever for your business.

What is Bad Website Design?

While you might understand how important your website is to your business, it’s equally important to understand what counts as bad website design. These design mistakes should be avoided at all costs, especially since many of them are easy to overlook when first building your website.

Outdated Website Design

Website design trends change fairly often. With new trends come new user expectations for what counts as good or accessible design. An outdated, non updated website could give the appearance that you are no longer in business, or that you don’t care about your professional image. While your site might have looked good for 2015, it probably won’t cut it in 2021. Not only will it look dated, but there are new ways to optimize your site to help it load faster, adapt to mobile views, and provide a cleaner experience overall.

Lack of SEO

If your site is not optimized for search engines, you’re making it difficult for users to find you in the first place. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes your site easier to read and understand, not only for users, but for Google as well. If your site doesn’t include industry keywords, location tags, or even metadata, then you’re actively making it difficult to organically find and navigate your website.

Poor User Experience (UX)

This goes hand-in-hand with SEO. Your website should be made with the customer in mind. As the saying goes, the customer is always right. So if pages take forever to load, users can’t easily find what they’re looking for, and everything is buried behind pop-ups and busy images, potential customers are going to find what they need through your competitors.

Doesn’t Line Up With Your Current Brand

If you haven’t updated your site in a few years, chances are it doesn’t reflect your current branding. Maybe the colors are off, or the tone of the copy doesn’t match. Either way, an off-brand website can be off-putting for users. If a customer likes your Facebook page, print ad, or freshly printed business card, then they’ll likely put in the effort to find your site. If they head to the URL, but the site looks nothing like the ad they saw, they might get confused or discouraged. The last thing you want is to let down customers before they’ve even had a chance to work with you.

Time For a Website Redesign

If your business’s website falls into any of these categories, then it’s time for a redesign. Websites can only benefit from updating their design to follow new industry standards and user expectations. It’s important to understand exactly what you want your website to do before you start throwing money at it. Here are some foundational best practices to follow while you plan your dream website design.

Clean, Simple Design

If you want users to easily navigate and understand your website, it all begins with a clean, modern design. Complex or overly stimulating designs tend to confuse users and scare them away rather than impress. Keep things simple, light, and on brand. Not only will this help users quickly find the information they’re looking for, but it makes your business look professional and thoughtful. It shows you have high standards for how your site looks, and that you will offer that same level of care to your clients.

Strategic UX

Like any other piece of your marketing strategy, your website has a specific goal for users. Usually this is to convert them into customers. Whatever your reason, your user experience should reflect that goal. By making your site easily accessible, simple to navigate, and skimmable, you can more easily lead users to your goal. Think of your homepage like a road: It should effortlessly drive your users towards your CTA, giving them all the necessary signs and info. Your homepage should not have any pot holes, like annoying pop-ups, or side roads, like multiple links to other websites.

Fresh Content

Updating your website means filling it with the latest info about your business and brand. Make sure to nail down your brand’s tone and only include the most vital information. Allow users to skim your site, but give them substantial copy to read through if they’re interested. Another addition that can only help is adding a blog. Google values sites that are leaders in their industry. This means having content that is well-researched, in-depth, and shared by others. You can help your rankings on Google by writing long form blogs about topics in your industry. Link to your sources, and share your blogs on social media.  

Template Websites vs. Custom Websites

By now you’ve seen why a website is so vital for your business. The next question is how do you go about redesigning it? You have some options available to you, but the most popular choices are between using a template website or developing a custom site. A template site uses a premade theme, usually through WordPress or Wix. These are sites designed with a “one size fits all” mentality, with a wide range of features. Custom sites are developed by a team based on a business’s specifications. These sites are “made-to-order” so to speak and usually cost a bit more. Both options have their pros and cons, which we will detail here:

Template Site

Custom Site

As you can see, both options have their positives and negatives. In general, custom sites are better for small businesses looking to grow and further develop their brand. Your website should be an investment, something you plan to utilize and benefit from for years to come. Think of your website as your most dedicated sales rep. It’s always talking about you and trying to sell customers on your services. Why not invest in that employee to give it a better chance at its job? Plus, you don’t have to worry about benefits or insurance!

Get Expert Custom Website Designs

If you’re looking to remain competitive in our digital reality, you need to stay up-to-date with website design trends. By meeting customers where they are, online and for short bursts of time, you can guarantee your business increased success. Interested in a custom site that won’t break the bank? Look no further than Key Web Concepts. We’ve developed hundreds of custom sites for our small business clients. We start with a foundation based on your company’s brand and business goals and tie them into SEO best practices. If you're looking for a business partner and not just another cookie-cutter design firm, contact us to discuss your business dreams.   Sources: https://www.atilus.com/templates-vs-custom-built-websites/ https://www.3mediaweb.com/blog/custom-website-design/\ https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics [post_title] => How Your Website Design Affects Your Business [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => how-your-website-design-affects-your-business [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-01-08 18:37:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-01-08 18:37:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.keywebconcepts.com/?p=10415 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10326 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-11-09 15:44:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-11-09 15:44:48 [post_content] => Professional website design can be some of the best money a business owner can spend. It’s the cornerstone of your digital marketing. And, as the future is increasingly defined by connecting with customers digitally, digital marketing is becoming the cornerstone of everything you do across every marketing channel. But web design can also be a waste of money. “You really think so? Aren't you a web design company?” Yes and yes. We love web design and what it does for the businesses we've worked with around Richmond, VA. But it can also be a complete and total waste of money. Why? Well, let's discuss this with an analogy.

Buying a 4k TV to Watch VCR-Recordings of the Home Shopping Network

Let's say you go shopping for a new TV. You want to get the best TV on the market. You're not going to settle for standard definition 720p or even high definition 1080p. No no no. You want the best in class, 4k Ultra-HD television. So you pay a pretty penny, take it home and set it up. You plug in your VCR and pop in a VHS cassette tape. It's an old recording of the Home Shopping Network. Your TV has the clearest image you've ever seen. The level of detail in the picture quality is mind-blowing. But this is a recording of the Shopping Network from the 90's. The picture quality of the VHS is scratchy. The products are no longer in stock. The host is pushy and out-of-touch with modern trends. Overall, it's not very engaging content. What's wrong with this picture? Well, it's an analogy to show why your 4k TV is only as good as the content you play on it. poor quality video content on a 4k tv

Your Website’s ROI Is Only as Good as Its Content

Your website is a medium of communication. It is a platform for you to say something to your visitors. If it is well-designed, that message comes through crystal clear. However, if the message itself is blurry, the best web design will only expose how poorly the website communicates. Just like a TV is only as good as the shows and movies you watch, a website is only as good as its content. A website with jaw-dropping design and high-quality content is like watching a visually-stunning movie on the best TV money can buy. Watching anything less than a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat is a waste of money. On-point marketing strategy combined with professional copywriting increases the ROI (return-on-investment) of your website. On-point marketing strategy: Professional copywriting:

Attracting Visitors to a Website They Want to See

I'm willing to guess that, if you've spent money on a website, it's because you want someone other than you to visit that website. That means that someone other than you is going to have to sift through what you have to say to find what's in it for them. This is a huge implication. If a website is built for someone else to see, you can't ask yourself, "what would I like on my website?" You have to ask, "what would they like to see on my website?" That second question leads into more questions: Answering these questions is what marketing strategy is all about. A strategy session goes a long way at setting up the criteria of what defines strategic content versus mediocre content.

Telling a Story that Keeps Them Tuning In

Copywriting is not a whole lot different than other types of writing. An author who writes bestselling novels weaves a story with a plot that keeps you flipping pages while using descriptive word choice to help you visualize the story. A copywriter does the same thing but with the backbone of a well-defined marketing strategy.

Writing a Real Page-Turner

The plot structure of a piece of web copy follows your website's main character, your customer, through the story of how you can help them.
  1. First, they have a goal
  2. Then, they have challenges or problems that get in the way of the goal
  3. Finally, your company has a service or product that helps them overcome their challenges and accomplish their goal
It could play out for a landscaping customer like so:
  1. The customer has the goal of a nice-looking lawn
  2. They don't have the time to fertilize, water and trim their lawn
  3. A landscaping company can take the hassle out of a nice-looking lawn
This is a simple example. Your business and what sets you apart from every other business like yours is what's going to make the plot structure of your copy unique.

Drawing a Vivid Picture With Words

A copywriter also looks for the best words to create a vivid visualization in the reader's mind. While a fantasy writer helps the reader visualize mystical and imaginative scenes, a copywriter is much more practical. They help the reader visualize, in as few words as possible, the benefits of using your product or service. With the right word choice, brand voice and tone, copywriting can produce a stunning image in your customers' mind. After visiting the website, they not only intellectually understand what your company can do for them, they also clearly visualize what working with your company will be like. They get a positive impression of your brand that’s deeply attractive.

Matching High-Quality Web Design With High-Quality Content

So yes, a beautiful web design can be a waste of money. But so can buying a 4k television if you don't have anything of value to watch with it. It doesn't have to be. By combining high-quality web design with high-quality content, you produce a crystal clear image. You communicate an engaging marketing message that your website visitors can't take their eyes off of. [post_title] => What Is Good Website Content? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => what-is-good-website-content [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-11-19 14:09:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-11-19 14:09:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.keywebconcepts.com/?p=10326 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => 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 ) [3] => 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 ) ) [post_count] => 4 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10415 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2020-12-29 14:52:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-12-29 14:52:31 [post_content] => In today’s digital age, every business owner has some sort of online presence. Some stick to a regularly updated Facebook page, while others have invested in a boilerplate website. Yet it’s easy to forget about that website, especially if you conduct all your business in person. While you may not see it as a vital part of your business, your website is actually a key component of your brand and marketing. More and more people are finding their needs online, and they want to work with businesses that understand that need. If you’re still rocking a Wix site from 2015, it’s time for an upgrade.

First Impressions Are Everything

For most potential customers, your website is the first impression of your business. According to a study conducted by Google, 49% of users discover new items or products through Google searches. And according to SEO Tribunal, 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. Your site also needs to be mobile friendly. Most people have easier access to their phone than to a computer. That might explain why 61% of mobile users are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site. In terms of Google search visibility, your website’s design can greatly affect your ranking on Google. 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results. So if your website isn’t optimized for what users are searching for, you could be lost in the thousands of search results. More importantly, The first 5 seconds of a page’s load time are the most critical when it comes to conversion rates. Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with every second a page loads, according to Portent. These stats show one thing: You have mere seconds to convince potential customers to stay on your website, let alone actually read through it and contact you. It’s clear website design is more important than ever for your business.

What is Bad Website Design?

While you might understand how important your website is to your business, it’s equally important to understand what counts as bad website design. These design mistakes should be avoided at all costs, especially since many of them are easy to overlook when first building your website.

Outdated Website Design

Website design trends change fairly often. With new trends come new user expectations for what counts as good or accessible design. An outdated, non updated website could give the appearance that you are no longer in business, or that you don’t care about your professional image. While your site might have looked good for 2015, it probably won’t cut it in 2021. Not only will it look dated, but there are new ways to optimize your site to help it load faster, adapt to mobile views, and provide a cleaner experience overall.

Lack of SEO

If your site is not optimized for search engines, you’re making it difficult for users to find you in the first place. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes your site easier to read and understand, not only for users, but for Google as well. If your site doesn’t include industry keywords, location tags, or even metadata, then you’re actively making it difficult to organically find and navigate your website.

Poor User Experience (UX)

This goes hand-in-hand with SEO. Your website should be made with the customer in mind. As the saying goes, the customer is always right. So if pages take forever to load, users can’t easily find what they’re looking for, and everything is buried behind pop-ups and busy images, potential customers are going to find what they need through your competitors.

Doesn’t Line Up With Your Current Brand

If you haven’t updated your site in a few years, chances are it doesn’t reflect your current branding. Maybe the colors are off, or the tone of the copy doesn’t match. Either way, an off-brand website can be off-putting for users. If a customer likes your Facebook page, print ad, or freshly printed business card, then they’ll likely put in the effort to find your site. If they head to the URL, but the site looks nothing like the ad they saw, they might get confused or discouraged. The last thing you want is to let down customers before they’ve even had a chance to work with you.

Time For a Website Redesign

If your business’s website falls into any of these categories, then it’s time for a redesign. Websites can only benefit from updating their design to follow new industry standards and user expectations. It’s important to understand exactly what you want your website to do before you start throwing money at it. Here are some foundational best practices to follow while you plan your dream website design.

Clean, Simple Design

If you want users to easily navigate and understand your website, it all begins with a clean, modern design. Complex or overly stimulating designs tend to confuse users and scare them away rather than impress. Keep things simple, light, and on brand. Not only will this help users quickly find the information they’re looking for, but it makes your business look professional and thoughtful. It shows you have high standards for how your site looks, and that you will offer that same level of care to your clients.

Strategic UX

Like any other piece of your marketing strategy, your website has a specific goal for users. Usually this is to convert them into customers. Whatever your reason, your user experience should reflect that goal. By making your site easily accessible, simple to navigate, and skimmable, you can more easily lead users to your goal. Think of your homepage like a road: It should effortlessly drive your users towards your CTA, giving them all the necessary signs and info. Your homepage should not have any pot holes, like annoying pop-ups, or side roads, like multiple links to other websites.

Fresh Content

Updating your website means filling it with the latest info about your business and brand. Make sure to nail down your brand’s tone and only include the most vital information. Allow users to skim your site, but give them substantial copy to read through if they’re interested. Another addition that can only help is adding a blog. Google values sites that are leaders in their industry. This means having content that is well-researched, in-depth, and shared by others. You can help your rankings on Google by writing long form blogs about topics in your industry. Link to your sources, and share your blogs on social media.  

Template Websites vs. Custom Websites

By now you’ve seen why a website is so vital for your business. The next question is how do you go about redesigning it? You have some options available to you, but the most popular choices are between using a template website or developing a custom site. A template site uses a premade theme, usually through WordPress or Wix. These are sites designed with a “one size fits all” mentality, with a wide range of features. Custom sites are developed by a team based on a business’s specifications. These sites are “made-to-order” so to speak and usually cost a bit more. Both options have their pros and cons, which we will detail here:

Template Site

Custom Site

As you can see, both options have their positives and negatives. In general, custom sites are better for small businesses looking to grow and further develop their brand. Your website should be an investment, something you plan to utilize and benefit from for years to come. Think of your website as your most dedicated sales rep. It’s always talking about you and trying to sell customers on your services. Why not invest in that employee to give it a better chance at its job? Plus, you don’t have to worry about benefits or insurance!

Get Expert Custom Website Designs

If you’re looking to remain competitive in our digital reality, you need to stay up-to-date with website design trends. By meeting customers where they are, online and for short bursts of time, you can guarantee your business increased success. Interested in a custom site that won’t break the bank? Look no further than Key Web Concepts. We’ve developed hundreds of custom sites for our small business clients. We start with a foundation based on your company’s brand and business goals and tie them into SEO best practices. If you're looking for a business partner and not just another cookie-cutter design firm, contact us to discuss your business dreams.   Sources: https://www.atilus.com/templates-vs-custom-built-websites/ https://www.3mediaweb.com/blog/custom-website-design/\ https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics [post_title] => How Your Website Design Affects Your Business [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => how-your-website-design-affects-your-business [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-01-08 18:37:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-01-08 18:37:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.keywebconcepts.com/?p=10415 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 40 [max_num_pages] => 10 [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.

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