All posts by Tucker

The Importance of Understanding Your Website in Today’s Internet Universe

If you’re website isn’t generating the business you feel it should, don’t blame the website.  It might be you.

I recently met with a client who felt that his website was nothing more than an online brochure…it was nice to have, but only two calls in the past year were generated from someone visiting his site.  He mentioned that he had read an article that his particular industry (wealth management) wasn’t really suited for developing leads from the internet.

My immediate question to him was, “How old was that article?”

He admitted that it was a little dated and that, in a nut shell, is the problem with many business owners today when it comes to how they view their website.  Their ideas and perceptions of the internet are dated

One of the most common metaphors I have heard is that the internet is the Wild West.  Well guess what happened to the Wild West?  People started laying their claims and developing their lands.  Pretty soon it wasn’t the Wild West anymore; it became an industrialized segment of our country.  That is what has happened with the internet.  It has gone to the next level and that means as a business or marketing manager, you have to be aware of these changes.  Do you know about responsive web design, or that Flash doesn’t work on iPads and iPhones, or that your website copy (the written content) is incredibly important to search engine optimization.

At the end of the meeting I told him that in a year from now, I wanted him to receive viable leads WEEKLY from his Impact Media built site.  That is purpose of a business website…to generate leads for your company.  It is not just a billboard;  it is a 24 hour sales representative whose sole function is to capture the attention of someone who is looking for your product or service.  Because it is a digital world, your options of how you program your online sales representative are almost endless.

Let’s look at this way..

You have hired a new salesperson for your business.  That salesperson has a good look, they dress nice and they have some familiarity with your product or service.  You put them out there and how do you think they are going to do?  They will probably do okay and get you some business based on their surface skills.  But that’s not what a successful company does.  The companies that are constantly out-performing their goals are the ones that thoroughly train their sales staff.  They make sure each account manager knows that company inside and out and then they equip them with whatever tools they need to create a compelling presentation.  If you do this then you have not only maximized your salesperson’s potential; you have maximized YOUR earning potential.

It’s the same thing with a website.  You can’t just toss up a website, even it if looks good and has all the proper information and expect it to maximize your earning potential.  I have read countless ads on Craigslist that read, “Small business needs website but has limited budget. This is the perfect opportunity for a college student.”  I call this the Craigslist Blues.  They are absolutely correct in one way.  It is the perfect opportunity for a college student because the college student needs experience and cash.  However, it’s a terrible business decision.  A college student doesn’t know the ins and outs of the ever-changing world of the internet and while that business owner may, theoretically, end up with a good looking site, its underlying function could be completely worthless.

Here is another example:  The other day, I met with an attorney who had traded out legal services for web design services.  Her “designer” ended up using a FREE online service to create her site.  The attorney asked me to take a look at it and give her my opinion.  I found all her contact information, which legal services she offered, times of business, a bio, pictures of her, and some pictures of the city (which I am positive were used in violation of copyright laws).  What this lawyer had was a Flash based website that wouldn’t function on an iPhone or an iPad; it wasn’t set up to be found by Google and it completely lacked a responsive design. It was a website that would have worked well in 2002, but had she stuck with it, she’d have cut herself off from maximizing her revenue potential.  She is now a client of Impact Media.

A good web developer will create a site for you that offers responsive web design which means that no matter what device you are viewing the website from, it will look proper and easy to read. This is crucial with the ever expanding world of smartphone ownership and our reliance on them for internet browsing.  A good designer will create a layout that will look professional and will play on the psychology of the web viewer.  They will optimize the copy so that the search  engines will find it using the most recent search methods.   Up-to-date knowledge is crucial because Google, Yahoo and Bing are constantly updating their search engine algorithms.  Google makes minor tweaks to their process 200 to 300 times a year and they make 3 to 5 major changes each year.

So now you’re saying, Okay C.S., I have a professionally built website optimized by the right keywords, with a responsive web design that includes a 60 second video of me presenting my company…bring on the leads

You are definitely closer, but it’s not quite that simple.  In my next blog entry I will discuss the most effective marketing strategy for your website in today’s internet climate.

New Website Launch for a Great Cause! Web Design & SEO

Impact Media Solutions has just launched a series of websites for the Vibrant Children initiative. This is an organization dealing with the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder and raising a healthy child in today’s challenging world. We are a strong supporter of this cause now after learning about the epidemic that is going on in America right now. These sites are designed to educate on proper nutrition, along with providing access to purchase products specifically meant to improve the quality of life for the children and families who are dealing with these issues. Below are some screenshots and links to the sites for the work that was done for this cause. We hope you like and learn as we did!

 

Using QR Codes As A Powerful Internet Marketing Tool

I love QR codes.  I don’t just love them, I am enamored with them.  Over 18 years ago these little babies emerged from a Toyota subsidiary as a way to track parts and production.  They was invented in Japan which should tell you alot right there.  The Japanese make good products, but not only do they make good products, they make game changing products that are almost supernaturally efficient.
Growing up in farm country over in Davidson county we had three golden rules.  The first was “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”   I think that’s fair.   2) “You can do whatever you put your mind to…but you have to do it with what you’ve got.”  For country people that means efficiency.  Whatever you do or build has to be done right the first time because there simply isn’t time or money for another.  3) “Appreciate what you’ve got.”  Sometimes it might not seem like much, but it’s a hell-of-a-lot better than what alot of other folks have.  So now you’re asking, What the heck does this have to do with QR codes, country boy?”  QR Codes are a technological missing link and what makes them so great is that the small business owner can get creative and utilize them with their internet marketing in very effective ways…and do it within their budget.
Most QR codes are used to send a mobile device user to a company’s website.  They are also using codes that were generated for free and look plain and boring.  THIS is the reason why QR codes are being perceived as a fad and a waste of time and it’s simply a matter of ignorance and a lack of creativity.  To begin with QR codes are not chained down to the ugly square black box style.  Back when they were being developed, the engineers allowed for a very important variable…damage.  When a code was put on an automobile part they knew that inevitably something was going to mess the code up.  Someone smearing it with grease on their hands, water, heat, it was a matter of time before something marred the sticker.  So they developed it so it could have up to 30% corruption.  That means you could literally tear off 30% of the sticker the QR code was printed on and still get all the information you need.  Tell me that wasn’t brilliant and just beautifully efficient.
So think about it.  If you have a code that can take up to 30% rearrangement and still works, it means you can customize it.  Most codes now don’t need more than a 5% deficiency potential built in because they are being scanned by smartphones which are incredibly powerful devices.  They are also being distributed in ways where people are more careful with how they are handled and distributed.  That leaves you with a 25% area you can work with to give it aesthetic value.  If you add in the fact that the black can be changed to another color, you can now develop that ugly black box into an eye catching marketing tool and separate yourself from your competitors.
Looking good is only one piece of the puzzle.  The other is utilizing the QR code in the correct way.  Remember, the purpose of the QR code is to generate leads that will lead to new customers. Sending someone to your website is typically boring to the end user.  This is where you need to get creative and you can do so inexpensively.  Try using it as a link to a video you posted on You Tube.  Most new smartphones record in 1080 p HD which is excellent.
A good welcome video message can go a long way.  Get over your camera shyness and introduce yourself to your potential customer.  They’re not just buying your product, they’re also buying the person behind it.  Tell them why you love what you do, what separates your service from others, and then show them around your store…but just enough to get them curious.  A personal message from the owner or manager will ALWAYS be more compelling than sending someone to the company’s website.
Here’s another scenario. What if you saw a print ad for a bakery and they had a picture of their famous apple pie right in the middle of the page.  It might make your mouth water a little, but will it compel you enough to get in your car and go buy something you know is bad for you?  Now what if there was a QR code and the person went ahead and scanned it.  Up pops a short video of the baker taking the apple pie out of the oven.  You can see the steam rising from the pie and you watch as the baker closes his/her eyes and takes a long sniff.  “Oh that smells so good,” they say.  The video cuts to a few minutes later when the baker pulls out slices from the pan, apple filling just oozing out and they put the slices on plates, passing them out to any customer that happens to be standing by.  We watch closely as the customer takes a bite and…there is the money shot.  The customer looks like they’re in heaven.  After watching that, how many people who scanned the QR code are going to go to that bakery and buy them a slice of that apple pie?
You can be effective and efficient at the same time, you just have to get creative.

QR Codes for Internet Marketing

New Website Design for Sea Coast Previews!

Impact Media Solutions has just launched another website for Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty. This site is for their Previews line which is designed for their luxury buyers and sellers. There are certain criteria that are met before a property can become a Previews Property, they are the elite homes of the area. We were happy that Sea Coast Realty chose us for such a project! This new website design features a full background design with quick searching across the top of every page. There is a Mobile Website being built currently and will be launched in the next week or so, but we wanted to get this one out and show it to everyone. The Background images are the actual properties that are For Sale, and pretty soon they will be offering video walk throughs of these magnificent homes. Let us know what you think!

Website Design Wilmington NC
Website Design

Brian Tucker gets inducted into The Cape Fear Rotary in Wilmington, NC!

Today our Fearless Leader was inducted into a great organization, The Cape Fear Rotary! Brian Tucker became a fully fledged member on of all days Friday the 13th, which he says has always been somewhat of a lucky day for him. Well, it looks like his luck his holding out, because he is going to be surrounded with some great individuals doing some great work for local charities in the area. I think he is going to fit right in with these folks! Good luck to you Brian!

Brian Tucker - Rotary Meeting

New Website Design for Builder in St James Plantation

We just launched a new website design for W. Epstein Builders in Southport, NC. They are a Builder that is focused on building in St. James Plantation, which at any given time has about 180 homes being built. Bill Epstein is a custom builder with many years of experience that has some great home plans displayed on his site and he and his team have some great ideas about how to build the perfect home for someone. We really enjoyed working with them on this project, they were very quick learners and have already begun to embrace their Blog and Social Media that we helped setup for them. They will be utilizing Impact Media for a total Internet Marketing Package to promote their company. They also used Impact Media to create their Logo Design and a new identity for their company as they were re-branding for 2012. If you are considering building a home in that area I would definitely give them a call to learn more, I think you will be impressed with their ideas!

Builder Website Design
Builder Website Design

New Web Design for Sun Coast Partners in Wilmington, NC

Coldwell Banker Sun Coast Partners is a Commercial Real Estate and Property Management Firm in Wilmington and serving South Eastern North Carolina. We have been their webmaster for more than 5 years and since that time we have performed SEO on their website and made their site the #1 for many of the Keywords and terms that they are optimizing for in the market. Their marketing is very focused at businesses both in and out of town and we help facilitate that marketing by providing them with Internet Marketing that gets results for their Agents and Clients. Visit their new website and let us know what you think, it is very different from what we had for them before.

Web Design & SEO
Web Design & SEO

New Web Design for Intercoastal Contracting in Wilmington NC

Intercoastal Contracting is a large construction company in the Wilmington area that can build on land or water. They have done some amazing work with Bridges, Marinas & Dams. When we started reviewing their needs and their work for their portfolio we were truly humbled by the work they have done and are working on currently. These folks really work on some BIG projects! When they initially approached Impact Media they were looking for a web design that clearly explained what it is they do and displayed a portfolio of their past projects for perspective clients to see their capabilities. They really wanted an online brochure. They also are engaging Impact Media for SEO and Internet Marketing services to expand their footprint on the web, so not only will they have a nice website to send people to, but they will be found by the keywords and terms that their perspective clients will be searching for them by. We have enjoyed working with Intercoastal Contracting and look forward to their future successes from their website and internet marketing.

Web Design Wilmington
Web Design Wilmington

New Website Launch for MAMSDIRECT.COM | Web Design Wilmington

Mid-Atlantic Marketing Solutions has been a client of Impact Media Solutions for many years, and they approached us wanting updates to their website. They had their old website for over 4 years and their company had been through many changes, but their website had not reflected all of the changes, so we worked with Kirk & Jamie to re-focus their website and create a new web design & web presence for them that reflected a more current feel of their company with new web technologies that were not available when we originally built and designed their 1st website. We put this website on the WordPress platform to utilize the Content Management System that WordPress affords and the price point that they were looking for at this time. Kirk & Jamie are very satisfied with the end result and time it took to get this website turned around for them. We hope it continues to build their business like the last website we built for them did.

Web Design Wilmington
Web Design Wilmington

Website Launch for Baker & Colby | Web Design Wilmington

Impact Media Solutions has just launched a new website for Baker & Colby Law Firm in Wilmington, NC. They actually have 5 offices in Wilmington, Southport, Carolina Beach, Jacksonville, and are growing their footprint every day. When they originally came to Impact Media their focus was mainly on Real Estate and Estate Planning, but since then they have grown to include many other areas of the law including Traffic & DWI, Corporate, Family & Divorce, which has made them one of the most comprehensive Law firms in the area with one of the largest foot prints. Their team is very  advanced with technology and utilize it to make it easy on their clients and more affordable as well. Their new site comes complete with a Content Management System that allows their team to update the site on demand, and Blog from their WordPress Blog to post relevant news anytime they have it available. Their Blog also syndicates to their Social Media such as Twitter & Facebook, so they are able to extend the reach of their website to others that do not visit their site daily. We hope you like their new site, if you have any questions please let us know.

Web Design Wilmington
Web Design Wilmington