How Prepare Your Website For Black Friday & Cyber Monday

How Prepare Your Website For Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Is Your Website Ready for Black Friday & Cyber Monday?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up fast. Is your website ready for the holidays?


Did you know that last year online sales were record-breaking and more than 120 million people planned to make purchases online on Cyber Monday? I don’t think you want to miss it this year. Here are a few things you can do this month to make sure your small business website is ready for holiday shoppers.


Plan Your strategy

When speaking about holiday promotions, don’t forget that the early bird actually gets the worm.


According to Google trends many people start to choose Christmas gifts toward the end of summer. National Retail Federation confirms this, and reports that the tradition of waiting to shop on Black Friday is evolving from year to year. Today nearly 40 percent of consumers begin to search for winter holiday deals starting around Halloween.


As you know consumers usually plan and purchase gifts in advance, that’s why you need to start working right now if you want to get your piece of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday pie. Here are a few ways to start working on your website:


  • Make a detailed calendar of promotion activities with all the deadlines and tasks you have to do for your website (email campaigns, blog posts, ads, graphics, social media updates, etc.).
  • Make sure the technical capabilities of your website can handle the inflow of visitors. Your online shopping cart has to work properly as well. 
  • Plan out and approve your return policy and procedures in advance. This step will help you to avoid hiccups.


It’s better for you to design your promotion strategy ahead of time. The earlier you plan all of your promotion events, the more likely you’ll be able to carry out a great campaign.


Make Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly

Consumers not only like to browse on their mobile devices any more, they also like to buy on them. Last year, online, retailers recorded a great increase in purchases that were made from mobile devices (almost 65 percent). 


Convenience is the key factor when visitors are viewing your website on their mobile device.You have to make sure that your customers can pay for their purchases with a one-click option, as well as with a simple credit card number or PayPal when they’re shopping online on their phones or tablets.


Prepare Your Marketing Assets

A great winning holiday campaign takes much time. So it’s important to start working on it and its assignments early. We’ve listed a few things that will help you to drive holiday shoppers to your website.  


  • Design of the Website: Let your website visitors know that right now they have the opportunity to take advantage of a great sale. Do this by sprucing up your website’s graphics for the holidays.
  • Landing Pages: The more prominent landing pages you have, the more probably consumers will find you. Create promotional landing pages that can lead customers to your site in advance.
  • Ad Copy: Work on converting ad copy this month if you want your Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads to stand out. You have to research keywords and top converting words, as well as write the copy, and then test the copy. Your copywriters should be busy this month.
  • Email marketing: Email marketing has the highest conversion rate among all types of online marketing. Don’t forget to design and tune your email marketing strategy. Make sure that your copy looks great and all of your links are functioning properly
  • Blog Posts: Creating relevant content in your company blog is the best way to improve SEO results of your website. Organic traffic to your website can definitely increase sales.


Don’t get bowled over by holiday deals. Prepare now for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and it can become the perfect way to raise sales in November.


Not Getting Traffic To Your Website? Here’s 3 Reasons Why, & How To Fix It!

Not Getting Traffic To Your Website? Here’s 3 Reasons Why, & How To Fix It!

No matter if you’ve built the website for your business or outsourced and hired a professional web design firm, you’ve spent both time and money to bring it to life. The question now is: Why isn’t my website getting much traffic?


Here are a few nuggets to identify and correct a few common web traffic obstacles, increase your website traffic, and gain the attention of your target audience and potential new customers.


You’re Not Going All In On Your SEO Efforts

Search engine optimization should be your top priority when you’re wanting to get more customers to visit your site. Review you website and see how it measures up in these areas.


  • Are your SEO keywords overly competitive or don’t match up with you specific services or products? If so, then it won’t attract many customers to your website?
  • Search engines such as Google and Bing increasingly locally focused. Therefore, you should add the name of you city to your webpages.
  • Be sure that the content on your website is ‘searchable’ when search engines crawl your website. For example, Google can’t crawl the text in on you photo. Same applies to any content in Flash (whoever is still using that).
  • If you website doesn’t have recent updates and fresh blog posts, you may rank lower in search engine results. Be sure to consistently post new engaging content on your website that uses keywords you’d like to be found online by.


Loading Times on Mobile, iPhone & Androids, is Slow

Have you ever went to a website on your mobile device and it left because it took too long to load? Of course you have. Your target audience doesn’t have time to wait for your website to take its time loading. Actually, according to Google, almost half of all site visitors will leave in three seconds if the pages don’t load on mobile.


  • There are plenty of free web tools that’ll allow you to run a test on the loading time of your website. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights or Google’s site tester. Google’s site tester let’s you know how mobile-friendly your website is and provide a free report.
  • If your website doesn’t work well on smartphones or tablets, Google will rank you site lower in the search results. A lower search ranking equals less traffic to your business website when potential customers are searching for your services or products. If your site is mobile-optimized, then it’s definitely time to make it mobile friendly.
    You haven’t invited people to visit your website.


Invite People to View Your Website

You might have the best website in the entire world, but unless you’re promoting it you won’t receive any web traffic. PPC ads and SEO are one way to promote your website, but we highly recommend that your website is visible in a number of places online.


  • Claim your business and get it listing on online directories (such as Google My Business) and review sites (such as Yelp).
  • Create a social media page for your business and link your website to it. Post blog posts with the links to them and new product or service pages to attract potential customers to your website.
  • Find ways to generate backlinks from other website to yours. For instance: being quoted as a contributor or source in an article (request a link to your website); write guest post on motivating blogs in your industry; ask professional colleagues to add your website link, where appropriate, on their site or social media.


Is your website getting good traffic? Do you know if it is or not? We’ll do a full analysis and email you a detailed report for FREE! Contact us to get started.


ATX Web Designs is a web development and web design firm in Round Rock & Austin, Texas. We don’t just build websites, we build websites that build business.

Should Your Franchisees Have Their Own Website? Pros vs Cons

Should Your Franchisees Have Their Own Website? Pros vs Cons

Is It Good When Your Franchisees Have Their Own Website?

Individual websites for franchisees is the thing that divides the franchise industry into two camps. Some franchisors prefer to retain central control and keep all franchisee sites under one domain, while others choose to give their own domain or sub-domain name to each of their franchisees where they can run their website and have their own online marketing activities. But which way is better? Let’s find out it.


One Domain for All Franchisees under Central Control

This approach allows the franchisor to retain full control of the franchisees’ websites under one domain name (e.g., Franchisees don’t have their separate websites where they can update information; they also can’t run their own digital marketing efforts. The individual details of the franchisee’s location such as contact details, maps, and address are located on the main website.


Unique Domain for Every Franchisee

This approach gives every franchisee an individual website with a unique domain name that will be used only for this individual franchisee. In this way franchisees will be able to run their own web site as they like, and even delegate digital marketing campaigns to a third party if they need or want.


Well, there are two basic camps; let’s try to dig a little deeper into the pros and cons of each of them.


One Website for All Franchisees

– It’s easier to maintain brand story, because the franchisor retains control over all information that is published under the brand’s name.

– Combined strength of the business. This is highly important to Google as the giant search engine moves its accent more in the direction of brands and brand mentions. The websites of big and well-known companies will exceed the websites of smaller businesses. As a result, your website becomes stronger when you maintain more content under the one domain name.


– This technique makes the franchisor responsible for the digital marketing campaigns. This fact can become a problem without a strong and coherent strategy. It can also put off potential franchisees if they consider your online marketing efforts weak, while at the same time they may not be able to run digital marketing campaigns by themselves due to the restrictions in the franchise agreement.


Separate Website for Each Franchisee

– Having separate website that is targeted solely to one specific geographic location could make it more relevant in Google’s eyes.

– This allows franchisees to invest in their own digital marketing campaigns in the way they see fit, removing responsibility away from the franchisor.


– This technique will work against franchisees who are less technically savvy and those ones who just want to run their franchise. And this could put them off signing a contract with the franchisor.

– It’s harder to maintain brand story, because the franchisor doesn’t control content that is published online under brand’s name. Mistakes that could be made, could be too costly.

– Having own domains for each franchisee will reduce the overall strength of the main website as well as it will divide the strength of the franchise network.


So Which Approach Do You Prefer?

Finally, franchisees are buying the business, and they need to know that their online business will be successful. And they will lose out to competitors if the digital marketing efforts of the business are not sufficient.


Like the concept of franchising itself, business’ online presence can be made stronger by the combined efforts of franchisees, that’s why keeping everything under one website allows combining strength that will help the brand itself as well as each individual franchisee. Having individual websites for each franchisee can cause to diluting the brand and diluting the website’s strength in the eyes of Google.


But before franchisors start insisting their franchisees have to follow their digital marketing strategy they need to ensure that their strategy is good. Franchisor’s wish to retain control and keep brand story isn’t a reason to stop franchisees from having their own websites, domain names, and implementing their own online marketing campaigns. The franchisor should actively promote the business online; they need a coherent strategy that does all the best for franchisees.


This will show potential new franchisees that they’ve made the right choice with the franchisor, which will help them grow their business. Who would invest in a business where the investor is not allowed to work on his online presence and at the same time the franchisor isn’t doing anything about it either?


So, the answer to this question is that both camps are right, depending on the franchisor’s position and attitude to the Internet and digital marketing. In the case when a franchise business isn’t proactive in digital marketing, and there aren’t any intentions of engaging an SEO company, the franchisor should give his franchisees freedom in the issue of promoting their businesses online. Stopping the franchisees from doing that without real reasons, and decent strategy, could hurt both the franchisor and the franchisees as well.


But if the franchisor invests in digital marketing, then he can take the initiative and show his franchisees how it can be done. It is true that strength is in unity, especially when it comes to websites. The website should become stronger with each new franchisee.


ATX Web Designs clients includes franchises such as MiPhone Doctor of Austin which is an iphone repair store with locations is both Austin and Waco, Texas area.


Do you have a franchise or a franchisee? We’d love to have a chat with you and see how we can help grow your franchise online by web design and internet marketing. Contact Us to receive more information.

5 Reasons Your Business Should Be Doing Facebook Ads

5 Reasons Your Business Should Be Doing Facebook Ads

As an web design and online marketing firm, we understand how easy it can be to get caught in the trend of what other marketers are doing; whether it be blogging, local search marketing, search engine optimization or SEO, video creation, or guerrilla marketing, there are endless options.


To be quite frank, we can’t do it all. Therefore we choose which platforms and direction we’re great at and focus on that, because if we only give a portion to each platform we reduce our chances of have a successful return for our clients.


That being said, there’s one modern day dominating force in today’s society: social media. It’s no secret that you (like us) more than likely check you Twitter feed, Facebook page, and Instagram numerous times during the day. Well, guess what? Your customers are doing exactly the same.


This isn’t too surprising, but it doesn’t mean you should be tossing all you dollars into every social platform there is. Although, there is one social network which you shouldn’t ignore. FACEBOOK. Here are five great reason why you should be advertising on facebook.


#1: Your Target Audience Is On Facebook

Facebook’s user base is bigger than the population of China! To be precise, Facebook has 1.49 billion members worldwide and 22 billion ad clicks per year. This allows businesses to have huge advertising opportunities. With numbers like that, your audience is definitely somewhere on there. It’s just a matter of locating them (which is discussed in reason #3), but if you’re having doubts, have another look at those stats.


#2: Facebook Ads Are Very Cheap & Cost Efficient

The reason you should advertise is because the traction you’re getting from organic activity on your business Facebook page isn’t yielding results.  Unfortunately, it proves the organic reach days are long gone. Your posts aren’t showing up in your audience Facebook news feed.


The upside is that Facebook ads only cost a fraction of what other online marketing may cost. We’ve ran facebook ads for $5 per day and was able to reach 200 people, whom all came to our website. You can’t beat that.


If you have a set budget, that’s even better because you can set a daily Facebook budget so that you don’t exceed what you spend.


In essence, it’s not about how much Facebook costs, but how far your money will take you. If you go into advertising with a strategy and focus, the ROI you receive will be incredible.


facebook percent


In terms of cost, to reach a thousand people, Facebook is far less expensive than all other platforms, including online and offline marketing.


You can spend $1 a day on Facebook ads, and reach 4,000 people that would’ve never seen you otherwise. That’s $30 a month. If you can’t afford that, then you may not be in business for long.


#3: The Targeting Capabilities of Facebook Are Outstanding

Because you scale so much detail, Facebook targeting capabilities is beyond belief. Not to mention the options of ad types, such as video ads. You can literally target President Barack Obama or his wife Michelle Obama. It can be age range, ethnicity, languages, geographical locations, demographics, behaviors, interests, or connections, you can get really detailed with the targeting capabilities and structure them with each other to increase your chances of getting rid of any users that aren’t your target audience.


#4: Facebook Is Effective to Push Potential Leads Down the Funnel

Still not convinced? Try re-marketing by custom audiences. This is a great strategy that does wonders. Remarketing words is targeting a specific audience that’s been to your website already, and would be more likely to show interest in your services or products.


#5: Facebook Allows You to Find New Qualified Leads Easily

When you’ve found your target audience, and getting them to convert effectively, you can duplicate them. This is called “lookalike audiences” where you can take that custom audience and have Facebook reach others that are similar to that audience, and likely to be interested in what your business offers.


Lookalike audiences are built with conversion pixels, data from installed mobile apps, or those that have liked your Facebook business page. You can also breakdown the size and targeting options to increase your chances of lookalike audiences accurately reflecting your target buyers.


This takes some guesswork out of targeting for user acquisition, which leads to a revenue increase.


Are you doing Facebook ads, or interested in doing them? If not, you should be! No matter if you’re looking to get more likes, shares, or convert users into leads, we can help you get started. Contact us for FREE advice on the best way to advertise your business on Facebook.


ATX Web Designs is an web design firm based in Round Rock & Austin, Texas. We don’t just build websites, we build websites that build business.

Why Are My Yelp Reviews “Not Recommended?”

Reviews are very important. Did you know that 4 out of 5 consumers actually reverse their purchase decisions based on negative online reviews?


Well that raises the question as to why are my Yelp reviews “Not Recommended?”


There has been much controversy with the nature of Yelps display algorithm and Review Filter, but don’t allow that to discourage your business from offering excellent services and products, and engaging with your target audience to gain great reviews from your customers and clients, and responding to their online reviews. Understanding what drives reviews from Yelp has become a major issue to online marketing strategies.


If the review isn’t a good one or if it’s a 5 star review regulated by Yelp’s automatic filter, most businesses have found it beneficial when engaging with customers that have left a review. Some business have even gone as far as to file class-action lawsuits against Yelp alleging that the automatic filter is configured to force businesses to pay for Yelp Advertisement. Unfortunately, none of the lawsuits have been successful.


Currently Yelp hasn’t disclosed what’s driving their review filter with much detail, but we’ve concluded a few basic assumptions based on our observations. Knowing what provokes Yelps review filter will give you better insight on what it takes to overcome Yelps domination.


How’s your ranking on local and organic search results? Ranking for local SEO and organic SEO


There are certain behavior types that are likely to force a review into the not recommended status. Whether good or bad, not recommended reviews won’t be taken into account when determining the businesses overall review average.


Yelps FAQ section give the most information about the way they filter reviews. They describe their recommendation process as follows:


“We use automated software developed by our engineers to recommend reviews from the Yelp community. The software looks at dozens of different signals, including various measures of quality, reliability, and activity on Yelp. Most of all, however, it’s looking for people who are intrinsically motivated to share the wide range of rich and detailed experiences they have every day with local businesses. On average, our software recommends about three quarters of the reviews that are submitted to the site.”

Yelp Reviews blog

The Yelp Reviewer Profile Isn’t Complete

One of the most common ways to trigger the filter is first-time Yelp users. Say, for example, someone loved the services that you’ve provided at your local business and wants to give you a review on Yelp. If it’s this person’s first review, he/she will more than likely not be too motivated to complete a profile just to leave a review.


This can trigger the automatic Yelp filter to categorize the review as not recommended. Sadly, this filter unfairly benefits first-time Yelp users that join with the intent of posting a bad review.


The Yelp Reviewer Doesn’t Have Social Media Integration

The absence of social media integration and social engagement is another common reason for filtered reviews. If they’re not using Facebook or Twitter as part of their Yelp interactions, it can raise a red flag. If a reviewer has added he/she social media profile to their Yelp profile, it stands a greater chance of having their reviews posted as recommended.


The Yelp Reviewer Has Positive Reviews Only

If a Yelp user has posted all five-star reviews, there’s a good chance that all of his or her reviews will be automatically filtered out. We aren’t making the suggestion that you should provide less than perfect service, but we’re sharing details to help you better understand what might cause a not recommended status on a great review submitted by one of your customers or clients.


The IP Isn’t Located Near The Business Location When The Review Was Submitted

This potential filter can cause a lots of frustration to those on vacation or have come back from traveling only to get back home and go to submit a review. If a review doesn’t come from an IP in close range to the business, then there’s a good chance of it be pushed into the non-recommended section.


The Reviews Cam From The Same Computer or Device

Yelp uses cookies to track engagement. If a business gets multiple reviews back to back that have come from the same device, they’ll be marked as not recommended. In this situation, the filter is structured in a way so to reduce fraudulent reviews, both positive and negative. This filter is mainly intended to keep everyone honest.


The Reviewer Doesn’t Marke “Useful” or Funny Marks on Their Other Reviews

This is pretty much a hit or miss, but we noticed  Yelp reviewers who have numerous reviews marked as funny or useful hold a better chance of having his or her reviews stay as recommended. As a business owner if you’re engaging with Yelpers, you should time out to mark reviews as funny or helpful. By doing this,  you are not only helping shoppers, but increasing the credibility and engagement power of other Yelpers as well. Don’t hold back on your clicks.


The Yelp Reviewer Does Not Have Yelp Friends

Yelp, in itself, is still a community. Yelp reviewers that have Yelp friends are more likely to have some form of credibility and their reviews will stick. Being socially friendless, won’t stand a chance, either a business or as an individual. Taking more time to engage with other Yelpers at a social level, both online and offline, will be beneficial.


Keep in mind that asking for Yelp reviews is against Yelp’s policies. We recommend you spend time engaging with past reviewers by responding to their reviews to give you the best chance to earn your reviews fair and square.


Yelp is a absolutely huge when it comes to building your online reputation, and it can definitely help you expand your online marketing reach, even without advertising. Don’t overlook the review platform and allow it to go to waste.


Do you need help getting more reviews from your customers or clients? We can help with that! Contact us for more information.


ATX Web Designs is your Online Business Marketing, web development and web design firm in Round Rock & Austin, Texas. We don’t just build websites, we build websites that build business.

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