Redesign Time, Start With The Sitemap
So the boss says, “we need a new website!” A chain of events ensues. The “Redesign Committee” is formed and is now responsible for gathering RFPs and examples of work. Then, agreements are made and project managers grab the reins. The process begins, graphic designers create proof of concepts, the marketing staff spins their wheels crafting the perfect content for the new website, that they insist they “are going to get right this time.” Developers take over and voila, the new company website is unveiled. Next thing you know, Google comes crawling and if you are SEO minded, you cross your fingers your ranking goes up.
If Content Is King, How Do You Find It?
Priority #1 on a website is to create engagement for the visitors. We want website users to go beyond one page of content and convert into an interested party, lead or sale. The priority of the website’s owners is to make ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Noah Lamson on April 8, 2020
Website Redesigns For Manufacturers
If you are considering a website redesign, it may feel overwhelming at first. However, some careful planning will ensure that your new and improved site provides optimum user experience and increased sales or lead generation.
Set the Bar
Before you begin your redesign, make sure to get a good idea of how your metrics are performing. Using a tool like Google analytics, analyze historical data like the number of visits to the website, amount of time spent on the website, form submissions and goal conversions, bounce rate, keyword rankings, and domain authority. If you do not have anything setup to measure metrics, make sure to do so immediately. Measuring the performance of your website, especially when transitioning to a new website, is crucial to your marketing efforts.
Define Your Audience and Goals
It is important to determine what your goals are as a manufacturing company and how your website will help to accomplish these goals. Perhaps you want ...
Posted in: General, Web Development by Seth Clayton on October 7, 2019
Is Bad Photography Hurting Your Business?
In terms of the web, content is still king and a large majority of that content is visual. So when it comes to images, I am surprised to hear more often than not - “just use what’s on our current website.” or “I’ll snap some photos with my phone.” In terms of redesigning your website and online presence, reusing what has already proven to be unsuccessful would leave us at a disadvantage. As for snapping some images with your phone, that can work with proper lighting, composition and professional editing, but those cases are very rare. There is a reason you see those tasty burgers in magazines or online and seem to get hungry instantly. Snapping a photo of that burger on a cell phone for your instagram page just doesn’t look as good though, does it?
It has been said that visual information is processed by the human brain 60,000 times faster than text ...
Posted in: Online Advertising, Web Development by Adam Zellmer on July 10, 2019
Getting The Attention Of The Industrial Buyer
What you need on your website to help them make a buying decision
Industrial buyers are interested in establishing a relationship with a vendor- with your company – and the information you have on your website is the key to helping them make that decision. Their time is valuable and whatever you can do on your website to help them make that decision efficiently is, well, good business practices. Foremost Media can help make sure your website brings the important information to the prospective buyer, efficiently and in a manner that will also make sure your website stays in the top search engine rankings.
Valuable Website Information
Take a look at your website and consider the following recommendations to make it more attractive to a potential buyer. These are listed in no particular order of importance because they all are important!
Associations – Highlight your membership in trade associations. They show you keep up ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Manufacturing Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Foremost Marketing on July 8, 2019
Website Request For Proposal Process
Get through the hassles and headaches of finding a web developer by having a well thought-out Request For Proposal or RFP. If you haven’t been through the process before, this article should get your wheels spinning on how to begin.
“We need a new website!”
So, the boss just asked you to head up the project for a new website. Super! Depending on your business’ market, it’s going to be time consuming. Hiring the best web design and development company isn’t as easy as searching Google for “best website designer”. It’s important to understand who you are investing time and money with. A web design company worth their salt will know how to respond to a Request For Proposal (RFP).
Start With The RFP Process
Starting out a new web development project using the RFP process sets the ball rolling for success. An RFP helps your organization evaluate your actual needs, timeline and budget you have to allocate. ...
Posted in: General, Web Development by Noah Lamson on July 1, 2019
Best Practices for Manufacturing Websites
Your company’s website acts as an online storefront. It’s your chance to make a great first impression with potential new customers. Having a great website can be the difference between a growing business and spinning your wheels. Our recent post, Five Pillars of an Effective Digital Marketing Campaign for Manufacturers, introduced you to the five most important elements of growing a manufacturing business online. The first, and probably most important, is a mobile-friendly, responsive website.
Today’s buying process is complex, even in the B2B marketplace. Buyers, product developers, engineers, and even marketing staff may have input in the buying process. Designing a manufacturing website that informs and appeals to a range of backgrounds is imperative in 2019 and beyond. Prospective customers are looking for a website that performs well, is easy to navigate, and is loaded with helpful information presented in an easy to digest manner.
Your Website Beyond Web Design
Website performance is vital to getting a ...
Posted in: General, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Jon Ballard on May 7, 2019
Tips For Improving Your Website’s Crawl Budget
Optimizing websites for ranking in search engines is an ever-precarious set of tasks. The algorithm Google uses to determine search results is a secret that evolves with each new release. Each time the algorithm is updated, Google gives out clues on what to look for. In a 2017 blog post, Google explained how crawl budget is not a factor in ranking. It shouldn’t be.
In simple terms, the crawl budget is the number of links Google will follow on your site. Your website’s crawl budget may be large or small depending on the size of your site, its popularity and its ease of use to crawl. Given that every site has a different amount of pages, it would be unfair to rank higher a site that gets crawled more simply because of its size.
Is Optimizing for Crawl Budget Worth It?
If the number of crawls on the site does not help rank, is crawl budget worth ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Noah Lamson on November 13, 2018
NOP Commerce Customization FAQ's
NOP Commerce is one of the most flexible and customizable aspdotnet shopping carts available. With so many built-in features, it handles most companies' e-commerce needs out of the box. But one of the real selling points for this code base is its ability to build out additional customized functionality. For this blog post, I thought we would start a list of customization questions that we receive from time to time along with our answers to customers. This blog post will be updated as new questions come in, so please check back.
Question - Can we configure a price list in NOP that’s different than standard pricing?
Out of the box, NOP Commerce has the ability to do different tiers of pricing. For example, you could set up a "Distributor A Price List" and then set discounts off standard rates by category or all the way down to the product level. Once this is set up you can then apply this ...
Posted in: General, Web Development by Jon Ballard on October 8, 2018
How to Write Content For Your Manufacturing Website to Increase Conversions
As the convenience and popularity of search engines continues to grow, your company’s website is the first impression prospective customers get of your organization. Making sure your company’s website features an appealing design and layout is important, but aren’t the only aspects you need to consider when designing your manufacturing website. After all, your website needs to be more than just appealing. Your website needs to convert.
Today’s manufacturers know that their website needs good content in order to convert, but most aren’t sure of the type of content they should include on their website, or how to write content that generates conversions. To write web content that converts, you must:
Define your call-to-action.
Clearly define the action you want your website visitors to take. Do you want users to fill out and submit a request a quote form, request samples, make a purchase directly from your website, etc.? After defining your conversion action, write content that ...
Posted in: General, Inbound Marketing, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on July 27, 2016
The Secret to Getting the Cheapest Website Possible
Looking to get the cheapest website you can? This blog will help you pay as little as possible for a website from a web development company.
The only thing you have to do is keep searching for a company to perform the work at a lower cost. That’s it! There is always someone willing to do a job for less money. If you search long enough, you will eventually find the lowest price company (more likely a single person) available!
What’s the catch?
The catch is that you will most likely end up getting what you paid for in terms of quality, and it will probably end up costing you more when you factor in lost revenue and the investment of your time.
Despite how it looks against the budget, cheaper is not always better. I was recently speaking with a new client of ours who is currently redesigning their website for third time in less than two ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Web Development by Jon Ballard on July 7, 2016
How To Successfully Redesign Your B2B Manufacturing Website
Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” No one quite understands the truth of this saying more than today’s B2B manufacturers do. After all, they know all the work that goes into taking a product from concept to market.
In many ways, redesigning your website is similar to manufacturing a product. Just like Manufacturing Process Management (MPM), you also need to research, set goals, design, launch, and measure results to make sure your company’s website redesign is successful.
Do Your Research
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” You wouldn’t start manufacturing a product without doing your research first, so don’t start redesigning your company’s website before doing your research. As Jon Ballard, CEO of Foremost Media points out, “Studying your current website analytics provides you with valuable insight into how your existing customers are using your website and how ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on July 6, 2016
Essential Design Features For Lead Generation
What’s the purpose of your company’s website? If you’re like many other companies, the answer is simple - to generate leads.
But it takes more than just having a website to convert visitors into leads. If your company’s website doesn’t engage visitors or direct them to take your desired action, it’s not going to generate leads for you. To generate leads, every page of your company’s website needs to have a specific purpose and provide visitors with an exceptional user experience.
To generate leads, your company website should have:
A Professional Design
Most of us already know that first impressions are important, but did you know it takes 0.05 seconds for visitors to decide to stay on your website or leave it.
According to Stanford Web Credibility Research, 75% of visitors use a company’s website to determine how credible the company is.
A recent article from Kinesis reports that “studies of user behavior have found that visual appeal and website ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on April 29, 2016
Responsive Design: The Time Is Now
For many years, tech analysts have predicted mobile usage to overtake PC usage. According to the 2015 GlobalWebIndex® Device Report, 80% of internet users own a smartphone. At only 11% less than the percentage of internet users who own a PC, there's little doubt that the Mobile-First Era is upon us.
Whether your company is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), more and more internet users are browsing your website using their smartphones or tablet. They're not just using their mobile devices to supplement their desktop browsing, they're browsing on mobile devices almost exclusively instead.
"[As a result, many businesses are beginning to] understand that not being present in results for people searching on their mobile device translates into missing out on a huge slice of the business opportunity."
- Smashing Magazine
Which is why digital marketing experts like Dan Bosomworth, Co-Founder and Creative & Strategy Director of First 10 are saying that "it's no longer a case of ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on March 29, 2016
SEO Hackers Targeting Wordpress And Blog Engine
Black hat SEO's are notorious for trying to take the easy route to ranking in Google's search engine, even if it means immoral or illegal behavior. There are many ways they do this. Some of which you've probably seen, but never knew why someone would do something like that. For instance, have you ever noticed really strange comments on a blog that seemed like garbled English? You might've rolled your eyes and said, "Wow, that guy really needs to take an English course.", but the reality is that the person who left that comment wasn't a person at all. It was a robot.
Some "black hatters" will create a piece of content using a simple language called "spintax". Spintax allows them to write a piece of content once, and then "spin" it to make variations in the language occur. Usually, this is done by putting in variant synonyms for particular terms in the content. The ...
Posted in: General, Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on February 1, 2016
What the end of SHA-1 support means for your website's security
Have you ever wondered why there's a green padlock icon in the address bar of your browser for many of the sites you visit online? Chances are you're not the only one. The green padlock icon is there to let you know that the website is secured with a Secure Sockets Layer or SSL. An SSL on your site prevents other websites from stealing your website's information and pretending to be you. While SSLs provide an extra layer of security for now, that may not be the case soon.
Since the early 1990's, websites have been using SSLs based on the Secure Hash Algorithm 1, better known as SHA-1. The SHA-1 encryption method has become less effective, and will likely be cracked by cyber criminals within the next couple years. Due to inevitable breach, many internet browsers are discontinuing their support of SHA-1 and are switching over to the SHA-2 encryption method by January 1, ...
Posted in: Web Development, Website Hosting by Tony Reynolds on November 11, 2015
Google Targets Wix Websites For SEO
If you have ever used a "build your own website" platform, then you have probably heard of Wix. Wix is one of the larger companies in the field, and Google has just dealt a serious blow to them.
In the age of the internet, every company needs a website. This is why companies like Wix and GoDaddy have jumped into website building with "build it yourself" platforms. For some companies, they have been a great tool. You can build your own, albeit limited, website at very little cost (except your time of course). This has been attractive for many that don't want to spend much on a website. However, there are some major problems with these platforms.
The web has become a complex place. In addition to how a website looks, you must now pay attention to its architecture for search engine friendliness. Many of the "build it yourself" website platforms are built on proprietary technology ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on October 28, 2015
You Could Slash Your School's Website Budget in Half
What if you could slash your school district's current website budget in half or more?
If your school district is using a proprietary school content management system with large recurring fees each month, there is a better way. School districts across the country are migrating away from proprietary and expensive content management systems and choosing free open source based content management systems to power their district's online presence.
The School District of Newark New Jersey has over 40,000 students and 75 websites. According to their Sr. Manager of Website Technology, Cameron Barrett, when Newark Public Schools migrated away from a proprietary school website system vendor they were able to cut their yearly recurring costs from $59,000 per year to $7,200.00 per year.
The Janesville School District in Janesville, Wisconsin has over 10,000 students and 27 school websites they maintain. In 2009, Foremost Media helped migrate the School District of Janesville to an open source content management system ...
Posted in: General, Web Development by Jon Ballard on August 27, 2015
Web Designer VS Web Developer: What's The Difference? [Infographic]
Companies looking for a website or a redesign of their existing site may become confused when the terms "Web Designer" and "Web Developer" get thrown out there.
Website design firms generally have dedicated designers that are able to tap into their creative energy to create the overall look and layout of a site. The designer then hands over the design files to a developer who builds everything from the ground up, keeping a website's experience on the cutting edge. Together, web designers and developers are working towards one goal - to produce a clean, fully functioning site that works in all browsers and devices.
To help understand the difference between a Web Designer vs a Web Developer, Foremost Media has created an infographic that breaks it all down.
What are my next Steps?
SEO For Businesses Website Development Conversion Rate Optimization Marketing Automation Digital Success Stories
Posted in: Web Development by Online Marketing Team on August 19, 2015
Looking to Choose a Web Development Company? Here's How!
In today's marketing landscape, businesses live and die by the success of their website. If your business has decided to build a new website, it is important to know how to choose a web development company to be your partner. This document outlines 12 things you must consider when selecting your next web development company:
You received a quote without much conversation
If you filled out a simple online request for a quote and received one back without an in-depth conversation about your goals, objectives and needed site functionality; throw away that quote. Good companies take the time to truly understand your project goals and objectives as well as fully grasp the functionality your website requires. This process often involves several conversations and an investment of time from both parties. The quote you receive should detail all the required work, and break out each piece on an estimated hourly basis to ensure you are getting what ...
Posted in: General, Web Development, Website Hosting by Jon Ballard on July 14, 2015
9 Reasons You Should Redesign Your B2B Website Today
In today's marketing climate, your company's website is one of the most prominent and valuable marketing resources available. When done properly, a website redesign can show quick and significant return on investment for a company making you look like a marketing rock star. Below we have 9 reasons to help you justify a website redesign to your boss:
1. Google Penalizes Sites That Are Not Mobile Friendly. This is costing you traffic
If you are like many of our B2B clients, as much as 30% of the traffic to your site comes from mobile devices. On April 21st, 2015 Google begin to reduce search rankings for sites that are not "mobile-friendly." This update could already be having significant impact on your traffic as Google is giving priority to sites that are "mobile friendly" in their search results. In order to restore your mobile traffic, it is important to certify your website passes Google's Mobile Friendly test. ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Jon Ballard on June 16, 2015
Evaluating ROI For Your Website
The effectiveness of a website can vary greatly depending on the goals and purpose of that site. E-commerce sites for example are fairly easy to evaluate in terms of dollars and cents because at the end of the day you can track how much you have sold verses how much you spent on the site. With marketing or informational sites that calculation becomes a bit harder to track. Foremost Media recommends several key things for each website we build in order to track effectiveness or return on investment:
Clear calls to action on every page of your site are very important. Every page should have a purpose or response you want the user to complete. Register for an event, visiting another page for additional information, subscribing to a newsletter, in a properly designed website these goals should be identified and tracked throughout the site. Then, using web analytics and response forms, you can assign value ...
Posted in: Online Advertising, Web Development by Jon Ballard on June 1, 2015
Do You Look As Good As You Think You Do?
Were you aware that studies show a staggering 40% of visitors will choose a different search result if the first one is not mobile-friendly? And with a majority of people researching and shopping online with a smart phone or tablet, this traffic is significant! Have you taken the time to see how potential customers are viewing your site?
Until now this process has been time consuming to say the least. Typically a staff member would be forced to borrow coworkers' electronics to see how the business website looked on a variety of devices. This is no longer the case!
We have created a responsive tool that allows you to easily view your site on a variety of devices. Check it out!
View Your Site Live
Simply enter your url in the top left, and click the options to see how your site looks to others.
A responsive site has become a necessity for both users and search engines. Contact ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on January 14, 2015
Why Your International Website Isn't Optimized For Search
Recently at Foremost Media we have been getting more and more questions about how search engines work as it relates to ranking for international markets. In order to answer the question, it is important to explain how the search engines work, particularly Google.
Google is the most popular search engine Worldwide. So, we will focus on them for this post. If you work inside of the Russian or Chinese markets however, we will want to target different engines in addition to Google. So, contact me if this is the case and we can discuss (contact information below). Now, back to Google. Think of Google as having multiple companies, one for each country it serves. Google.com is the American search engine, whereas Google.de is the German engine, Google.in is the engine for India and so on.
The first thing Google does when reviewing your site is determine which one of their engines you belong in. If they ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development, Website Hosting by Online Marketing Team on December 3, 2014
State of Wisconsin Online Marketing Grant Available for Manufacturers
If your company has been thinking about expanding your business abroad and you are a Wisconsin-based manufacturer, or have a minimum of 35% of operations (Warehousing, R&D, manufacturing, etc.) here, funds may be available from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) via the International Market Access Grant (IMAG). This grant reimburses companies a maximum of $25,000 (30% reimbursement) for activities associated with new international marketing initiatives. This includes the development of country-specific websites and international search engine optimization or online marketing.
Foremost Media has extensive experience helping US companies expand their business abroad using these country-specific online marketing strategies. In fact, we have done so much work on country specific websites over the past four years that we have opened several hosting facilities in key economic regions including Europe, Asia and Central America.
For more information on Foremost Media multilingual web development and marketing services, or our website design services for manufacturing companies please contact:
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Jon Ballard on November 12, 2014
8 Mistakes Companies Make When Launching a New Website
Your site has no redirects- In today's day and age, most established companies already have a website. What this means is that most of today's new website launches are actually re-launches or redesigns of the old site. In fact, here at Foremost Media, over 90% of the sites we build are actually rebuilds from the ground up of existing websites. Re-launching a new website has some unique challenges, especially if the site is well established. One of the most overlooked and critical things inexperienced webmasters do when re-launching or re-designing a site is skip the site redirects. Site redirects, or more specifically page redirects, are a way to send both search engines and site visitors to a different or new webpage from the one they originally requested.
So why is a site redirect important to a site re-launch? If your site is well established and you change page names or page structure, you will need ...
Posted in: Web Development by Jon Ballard on September 4, 2014