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We are Saltmedia and we are a web design firm based in Grande Prairie, Alberta. We're blogging now to speak to the business community in matters relevant to our work such as SEO and how we help our clients be found online.

Do You Own Your Business' Domain Name?

Do You Own Your Business' Domain Name?
Here's an important question that you may not have given much thought to in the past; do you actually own the domain name for your business' website? As web designers, we regularly work with businesses, and because we've heard the horror stories and know what's possible, we always make sure that our clients own their domain names. In today's post, I'll tell you why it's vitally important for you to be listed as the owner of your company's domain name when you're building a new site, or why you should find out if the domain name for your existing site is, in fact, your own. The Risks You would be surprised to learn of the number of instances where, after years of working with a particular domain name and building an online presence around that name, business owners discover that the domain is actually owned by someone else. In some...
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Beyond Copy: Using Buttons Effectively in Your Website Design for Better Conversions

Beyond Copy: Using Buttons Effectively in Your Website Design for Better Conversions
This month, I've been sharing some proven tips for achieving more results through effective calls to action and other website copy. While a call to action and persuasive writing are fundamental to generating more leads and sales, they're not the only ways you can boost conversions. In fact, there are many facets of a website design that can and should work together to provide the user with a specific experience and, hopefully, elicit a specific response. Today's post will talk specifically about how to effectively use buttons to improve your site's conversion rate and deliver real results. Adding Better Buttons to Your Website Design A great deal of testing has been done over the years to determine how the look and placement of buttons affects their conversion rates. It's not enough to toss a 'Buy Now' button on your product page and expect people to click it. When considering your...
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How to Write Calls to Action that Convert

How to Write Calls to Action that Convert
Last time, I talked about the importance of using calls to action in your website design. If the goal for your website is to attract and convert new customers for your business (and I'm guessing it is), you've got to tell people what you want them to do, when they're on your site. You can't expect that they will take it upon themselves to sign-up for your newsletter, purchase your product, or email you for more information, so you must include a clear and consistent call to action on every page of your site. Now, that's not to say that you can just write 'call us' at the bottom of every page and expect the phone to start ringing off the hook. There's an art to writing copy that grabs attention, keeps the reader interested, and then - BAM - hits them with a call to action. In today's post,...
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The importance of Call to Actions

The importance of Call to Actions
The Nitty Gritty on Calls to Action: Why the Best Website Design Always Includes Effective Calls to Action - If there's one thing we've learned, in all our years of providing web design services to businesses throughout northern Alberta and B.C., it's that even the best website design, complete with the the flashiest logo, coolest graphics, and most cutting-edge content management system, isn't enough to encourage site visitors to make contact for more information or to purchase a product online if there isn't a clear call to action. 'What's a call to action,' you ask? It's the magic tool that drives site visitors to call you, visit your location or buy your goods and services. Okay, it ain't magic, and it actually isn't all that difficult to master good call to action writing skills. You just need to first understand the importance of the call to action and learn a...
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DIY Internet Marketing Tips

DIY Internet Marketing Tips
As promised, today's post will share some simple yet effective internet marketing tips that any business owner can start to implement, right now. Rome wasn't built in a day, so you shouldn't expect your business' online presence to be, either. It's going to take time and dedication to create and maintain the type of online presence that attracts people's attention and convinces them to become your customers, so taking the first steps and implementing some of the tactics you see here can be a great way to get started. Internet Marketing Basics Create Social Media Accounts for Your Business & Start Interacting: If you haven't already, create Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest pages for your company. Put some time and thought into how the pages look and the information you share with followers, because this may very well be the first introduction that many people have with your brand....
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No Matter the Weather or the Economy, Internet Marketing is Vital to Business Success

No Matter the Weather or the Economy, Internet Marketing is Vital to Business Success
In my last post, I described some of the many ways that businesses can benefit from stepping up their internet marketing efforts during a slowdown. When sales are down and new leads are nearly non-existent, your instincts may be telling you to sit tight and wait...or pray...or cross your fingers, and to pull back on any spending that isn't required to keep the lights and heat on. In reality, a slowdown isn't the time to sit by and fret - it's the time to take action! For any business, whether big or small, located in Grande Prairie or anywhere else, directing your attention to internet marketing and enhancing your online presence is the best way to turn around an otherwise dismal situation. Why it's Always a Good Time to Invest in Professional Internet Marketing Services Together, with a professional web design, a carefully researched and properly executed internet marketing strategy...
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Ready to Learn More About Cloud Solutions & How They'll Change the Way You Do Business? Read On!

Ready to Learn More About Cloud Solutions & How They'll Change the Way You Do Business? Read On!
In the last post, we shared some of the ways cloud solutions can and are being used to improve operations by providing businesses with a more affordable and convenient way to access and use information. We also touched on one of the ways cloud solutions can be used to promote brands and to keep customers up to date on a company's latest and greatest via email marketing. Today, I'd like to share a few more specifics for cloud computing and some of the many ways business owners can customize their solutions to create a system that's a true asset for their company. Endless Ways to Better Your Business with Microsoft Office 365 The beauty of cloud computing is that any business can customize the services to better manage their operations. So, whether they're a restoration company that works with multiple insurance companies and has estimators, cleaners and contractors on their...
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Need a More Organized Way to do Business in 2015? Put Cloud Solutions on Your Christmas List & Reap the Rewards of Systemization

Need a More Organized Way to do Business in 2015? Put Cloud Solutions on Your Christmas List & Reap the Rewards of Systemization
For many small business owners, one of the biggest challenges they have is competing with larger companies that offer similar products and services. In the past, small businesses owners couldn't afford the technologies large companies used to systemize their business operations, ultimately improving their productivity and increasing their profits. They also didn't have the in-house tech experts that were needed to manage the IT infrastructure. Now, with the availability of highly reliable and affordable cloud solutions, the playing field is equal, at least as far as business systemization goes. Cloud solutions bring greater balance to markets because they allow every business the chance to save time and money while managing their operations. If systemizing your business and improving productivity is on your list of to-do's for 2015, there are many reasons for you to seriously consider cloud solutions. Cloud Solutions Offer Accessibility & Convenience Perhaps the greatest benefit cloud solutions...
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Don't Send Mixed Messages, Branding Consistency is Key

Don't Send Mixed Messages, Branding Consistency is Key
Over the last few weeks, we have been talking at length about branding - and for good reason. It's one thing to have a great product or service, but ensuring your business continues to grow, year after year, takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and last but not least, rock-solid branding. Think of your brand as your corporate image; it's what your company does, what you produce or provide, and it reflects your business' overall values and goals. When just a glimpse of your logo can bring to mind not only what your business sells but also what you represent or strive to achieve, you've built the type of brand that's capable of keeping your company at the forefront of the industry, well into the future. Just think of all the business logos that you've known and seen for as long as you can remember. You only need a...
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Quality Web Design is Much More than Pretty Pictures & Compelling Copy: Branding & Marketing are a Must for Success Online

Quality Web Design is Much More than Pretty Pictures & Compelling Copy: Branding & Marketing are a Must for Success Online
When it comes to web development, one of the things people often forget is that building an effective web presence for a business or organization requires a lot more than content and images arranged in an eye-pleasing way on the page. In our technological world, where the majority of people search for the goods and services they want to buy via the internet, businesses especially need websites that can inform, engage and persuade visitors to take action. To build the type of web presence that will really go to work for you, however, requires a multi-faceted approach designed and executed by experts in their respective fields. Last time, I discussed some of the ways that the look and function of a DIY website differs from one built by professionals. This week, I'm following that discussion with an equally important facet of any web development project, branding and marketing. Web Development...
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Function & Look: Professional Web Design Versus DIY

Function & Look: Professional Web Design Versus DIY
In my last post, I talked about some of the more general pros and cons of professional web design and do-it-yourself, or DIY. This week, I want to take a closer look at how the function and look of a professionally built site differ from one made using free tools like those from Weebly and GoDaddy. What Quality Web Design from a Team of Pros will Provide that the DIY Route Can't Without mastery over the tools and technical skills it requires to design and build a site that not only looks great but also functions well, taking on a web development project yourself isn't likely to provide you with the type of website you imagined or that your business or organization even needs. Appearance As far as appearance goes, professional web design always looks more professional, typically using layouts and images that are creative and of a higher quality....
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DIY Versus Professional Web Design

DIY Versus Professional Web Design
As the founder and president of an Alberta web design and development company, I've had the old do-it-yourself (DIY) versus professional web design conversation with new clients and others more times than I can count. Restricted by budgets or thinking a web development project could be a 'fun' challenge, business owners and organization leaders can be tempted by free web design tools, like those from Weebly and GoDaddy, to build their own sites. There are, however, many benefits to choosing the professional web design route over the do-it-yourself option, the biggest one being that a professionally designed, built and managed web presence is always far superior to anything a novice could create from a canned template in little more than a Saturday. I'm sure you're probably thinking "of course a web designer would say it's best to go with a pro," but by the end of this 3-part blog series,...
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What's Considered 'Duplicate Content' & Why it Matters for Search Engine Optimization

What's Considered 'Duplicate Content' & Why it Matters for Search Engine Optimization
If you copied another's essay in school and were caught, you'd undoubtedly get in trouble. Plagiarizing another person's work on the web is equally as serious as it is when it occurs offline, but did you know that you can even get yourself in trouble for copying your own work online? If you're struggling to wrap your head around how that's even possible, I'll explain. Even if you're at all in-tune with search engine optimization, what's considered 'duplicate content' can be a bit confusing. As the name implies, 'duplicate content' includes any copy that appears on more than one page of a website, or that has been copied from one site and used on another. The risks associated with trying to pass another's work off as your own, without asking for the original author's permission and citing the copy properly, are pretty clear. For the purposes of this post, I...
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More Search Engine Optimization Myths: Are these Misconceptions Preventing You from Achieving Success Online?

More Search Engine Optimization Myths: Are these Misconceptions Preventing You from Achieving Success Online?
In my last post, I talked about a couple of the most common search engine optimization misconceptions we hear while working in this industry. All too often, people get hung up on outdated information, think they can run a successful search engine optimization campaign themselves in their spare time, or believe they don't need it all. The truth is, the days of DIY SEO are long gone, and unless you eat, sleep and breathe search engine optimization, your site will never reach its true potential as far as rankings, traffic volume and conversions are concerned. Last time, I discussed two things that we at Saltmedia hear all the time; the myth that you can give your website a quick-fix of SEO and enjoy top rankings and high volumes of traffic for years to come, and that it's possible to build a strong web presence without a mobile-friendly website design. In...
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The Search Engine Optimization Misconceptions that are Preventing Your Business from Reaching New Heights

The Search Engine Optimization Misconceptions that are Preventing Your Business from Reaching New Heights
Nearly every business owner with an online presence has heard of search engine optimization, or SEO. Perhaps you, too, have been vying for Google's attention in an effort to edge your business' website further up the search rankings. But, where so many business owners go wrong, whether they own a small local business in Grande Prairie or a chain with multiple stores across the country, is that they're still under the impression that they can 'do' SEO in their spare time, build a few links here, share a couple of blog posts there, and sit back and watch as their site skyrockets to the search rankings' coveted top spots for dozens of keyword terms. The long and short of it is that some common search engine optimization misconceptions are holding businesses back from succeeding both on and off the internet. Check out the following, the first in a two-part series...
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There's a Right and a Wrong Way for Businesses to Use Facebook. Learn the Keys to Success, Here

There's a Right and a Wrong Way for Businesses to Use Facebook. Learn the Keys to Success, Here
Recently, I've been sharing tips and other useful insights for Facebook, and specifically how business owners in Grande Prairie and beyond can use the social media platform to attract new leads and even sales. As a web design company that also offers search engine optimization and other internet marketing services, we often see business owners who are keen to take advantage of this free marketing platform, but who don't necessarily know how to use it in a way that will generate the types of results they're after. There are a few basic principles that should guide your interactions in Facebook. With these in mind,  you'll make the best use of this free marketing platform. Facebook is a Place for Socializing, Not Hard-selling In our dealings as a web design company and through our own personal use of Facebook, this is the mistake we see businesses making most often. Facebook is...
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4 tips for Facebook Success

4 tips for Facebook Success
Facebook Time

Whether your business has a storefront in Grande Prairie or you operate entirely online, your business needs a Facebook presence if competing and succeeding in your niche is what you aim to do. Even if social media isn't your thing, or just like any other business owner you've got little extra time to devote to something other than the products and services you offer, using the following 4 tips when designing your Facebook strategy will ensure your interactions on this social media platform are as streamlined and effective as possible. Set your strategy . Determine your target audience, the image you want to present and what benefits you are going to offer your audience. Make a list of the objectives of your strategy, for example: Loyalty Increase audience Create brand Disseminate brand / product Educate people in my sector What's new in my sector And so on... Plan your content....
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Facebook is a Valuable Marketing Tool Small Business Owners Can't Risk Ignoring

Facebook is a Valuable Marketing Tool Small Business Owners Can't Risk Ignoring
As a web design company in Grande Prairie, a large percentage of our clientele is made up of small businesses. In an effort to provide our clients with the ultimate in web design, development and internet marketing services, we've learned a lot about their pain points, or rather those things they find puzzling, stressful, have never thought about before, or all of the above. This being the case, I thought I'd share some tips on a very powerful and yet often undervalued tool that's available to small business owners: Facebook. Now before you say "but my clients don't use Facebook,'' hear me out. Every day, more than 800 million people around the world use Facebook in some capacity, whether it's to socialize or learn more about the businesses they will frequent. This means that whether you cater to 20-somethings, other businesses or even seniors, your business needs a Facebook presence....
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Grande Prairie Internet marketing to help your website be found by Google, Bing and other popular search engines.

Grande Prairie Internet marketing to help your website be found by Google, Bing and other popular search engines.
How to increase website traffic Build it and they will come may work in the movies, but if you want online visitors to check out your website or be found on the first page of Google hire a professional website design company to manage your online marketing.  Advertising your business online to attract local customers around the Peace Region, Alberta or anywhere around the world can be achieved with Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO.  Good SEO vs Bad SEO There are two major styles of SEO.  White hat SEO – the good kind, and Black hat SEO – the not so good kind.  White hat SEO uses wholesome techniques to generate steady, gradual and lasting growth in rankings with strategies such as on-page content optimization, website performance tuning and targeting online business directories.  Black hat SEO leverages techniques that are not endorsed by search engine providers such as...
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WordPress vs Joomla:What Makes them Popular CMS Solutions for Web Development and Which One Saltmedians Love--Just a Little More

WordPress vs Joomla:What Makes them Popular CMS Solutions for Web Development and Which One Saltmedians Love--Just a Little More
WordPress vs Joomla: The debate about which Content Management Software system (CMS), WordPress or Joomla, is best for powering websites isn't new, and I'm sure website designers everywhere will continue to argue the merits of one over the other, for years to come. You see, everyone has a favourite, like Coke or Pepsi, one that they feel is superior and that they recommend to their web development clients, again and again.  While WordPress and Joomla aren't the only CMS options out there, it's my opinion that they're the best options in 2014, and the fact that tens of millions of people around the world have chosen to use WordPress or Joomla for web development leads me to believe I'm not alone in my thinking. What is a Content Management System and Why is it a Critical Component of Any Website Design? People who work in web development sometimes forget that...
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