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PSPinc will help your business thrive by providing for all of your technology needs. We offer a wide array of products, including Web & Email Hosting, Website Development, Email Marketing and Data Storage Solutions. Visit pspinc.com to learn more.

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Content is Key for the Health of your Website

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Content is Key for the Health o...
Finishing your website is only the beginning of your long endeavor to succeed online. Maintaining your website will be your lifelong mission (or your business’ lifelong mission) in order to keep it effective and get you good results.

So how do you do that? By keeping it fresh and continuously updating your site, adding content regularly. Here are a few ideas…

1) Blog

One of the most commonly known methods for updating your site is having a blog. You can give your expert advice to your audience once or twice a week like I do (*smile*). There are website tools, ours included, which make it so the blog posts can be embedded into your homepage. Before you build your site, make sure these tools are available to you and you understand how to use them.

2) Newsletter

If you are sending newsletters to customers, you can also publish those as new web pages. Be sure your website allows you to add and post more pages because you should create a new web page for each newsletter you archive after it gets sent out, giving you lots of keyword-rich content for better search engine optimization.

3) Photo Gallery

If you don’t want to write a lot of content, you can take photos of your work, your team, or your clients, your products, etc. You can set up a photo gallery on your website and post each image with a short comment. Again, be sure your website includes a tool for you to add photos with comments easily.

4) Client of the Month

Featuring a different client every month is good exposure for them and you. It’s a win-win especially if you can highlight your client’s business. On a client spotlight page, explain what you did for your client and update it once a month. This will highlight different stories about your business and give more credibility to your company.

5) Testimonials

Testimonials can be placed on your homepage, or snippets within each page. Like reviews on social media, customer feedback from their experiences can be more powerful than yours. You could even make a video and post them on your YouTube channel and embed it in your page.

Without updates and fresh content, your search engine ranking will drop. So however you decide to add it, be consistent and update on a regular basis. The key to success in any form is consistency, and only with discipline can you achieve such consistency and success in your business.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Websites #WebHosting

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Laying out your Business Homepage

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Laying out your Business Hom...
Once you’ve determined all the elements that need to go into your website, how you lay them out is the next important decision to make. It’s especially important that your website adjusts well to different PCs and smaller devices, and the priority information is still seen first no matter how your website is viewed. If it’s hard for a visitor to figure out what your website is about, or if they’re unable to quickly locate the information they want, it’s highly likely they will “bounce out” from your page and leave. So how do you properly arrange your homepage in order to keep the visitor engaged?

Here are some important things to consider:

1) List the information you wish to have on your homepage in order of priority. What do you want to say and what would you like the visitors to do once they’re on your page? Make the list so you know what to put in front of visitors first.

2) Review your list and pick only three items. Yes, only three. Put the rest of the information on other pages within your site map, but focus on the most important three topics to be placed on your homepage.

3) Keep it simple! If you have too many things on one page, visitors will leave. Don’t push the envelope too much when it comes to your landing page. Keep your page clean and simple, easy to read and navigate. Limit the text on this page as much as you can.

4) Draw a wireframe. On a piece of paper with a pencil, draw a rectangle, and place those three items in the body. Give the most space to your #1 important item, the least space to your #3 item, and something in between for your #2 item.

5) Don’t forget to include the contact information. Whether it is through an online form, your phone number, or email address, people need to know they can contact you. If there’s no way to contact you, your business may appear shady and untrustworthy. Make the contact information easy to access.

6) Be consistent with your story, with your tone, and with your brand. Stick with your core objectives and try to stay focused!
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Websites #WebHosting

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The Importance of your Website’s Hero Image

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The Importance ...
The first impression is the key to your success when you are launching your website. Without good visuals to appeal to your potential customers, they will “bounce” out of your website within a few seconds. To keep them browsing, you need a professional looking site. The secret ingredient for that is the “hero image.”

Hero image mainly means the visual on your web landing page. It’s often placed in the center as the prominent banner image. Some websites use multiple hero images – where a different image will load each time, and others use a slideshow to flip through a few of them.

The hero image gives the first impression of your business online, so first, here’s what not to use:

- Low resolution photos you had from several years ago
- Out of focus photos you took on your smartphone
- Images that looks too dark from your digital camera
- Un-cropped photos with another business name or logo on the side
- Photos with colors that clash with your website brand colors
- Free template photos you downloaded that can be seen on other websites

Now here’s what you should consider doing:

- Hire a professional photographer so you can own your quality images
- Hire a professional graphic designer to tune up the photos you wish to use
- Purchase / download professional images from sites like Flickr.com, GettyImages.com or Shutterstock.com
- Edit and combine a few photos you have with graphic editors (there are some free ones as well)

Good visuals and imagery can speak volumes about your business, especially in the online realm, they can be more impactful than words. So be the hero and put some quality effort into building your website’s hero image.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Websites #WebHosting

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Steps to Take when Planning your Website

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Steps to Take when Planning y...
Once you know your tone of voice, the story, and all the elements to your brand, you will then organize your website concept in a way so you or your developer can build them into pages. The process is kind of like writing a book - you first need to think about the big picture, then work on your table of contents before you actually create any content for the pages.

As mentioned in my previous blog posts, your tone of color should match your tone of voice within your graphics and content. Define the right tone of voice, compile the terms you wrote down when thinking about your brand and the reasons why your customers should choose you. Now use this information as the base for building and organizing your website.

Consider taking these steps to organize your website:

Work on the site map.

More content on your site doesn’t necessarily mean people will spend more time on your site. What are the most important things your potential clients need to know about you? Pick 5 to 8 topics, and make a page for each one of them.

What is the most important topic of all, and which one is the least important? Put them in order of importance and this becomes your navigation menu, obviously the most important starting at the left or the top depending on whether your menu is horizontal or vertical.

Do not make sub menus of sub menus of sub menus… The structure of your navigation must be kept simple, otherwise people will get lost and leave your site.

Work on the homepage call to action.

If you could only choose one thing for a visitor to do on your website, what would that be? Do you want them to call you? Subscribe to your newsletter? Shop?

Whatever it might be, you will need to make sure it is visible and right there on the homepage, without having to scroll down. You must make sure that experience is the same for all devices, from smart phones to PCs with large monitors.

Your “call to action” can be on every page if you design it into your header or footer. Repeating it on every page will encourage users to take that action.

Finish your content (and don’t forget to include your keywords!).

Based on your site map, you can work on the content for each page. Remember, people will be turned off and leave your site if those pages have too much to read or the navigation is hard to figure out. The experience must be user-friendly and easy-to-read with pleasing visuals, not too much clutter.

You should also include the keywords for your site in as much content as you can. It provides another opportunity for search engines to recognize your keywords and index your site so it can show up organically for people who search those terms.

Finally, do not forget to include your contact information. Those sites which do not show where they are located do not look professional and some people may even think you are a scam site. If possible, include your street address with the country name and the telephone number. That will ensure to customers the legitimacy of your site.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Websites #WebHosting

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Pick the Right Web Colors for your Brand

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Pick the Right Web Colors for ...
There are millions of colors out in the world, and I doubt an exact number even exists, or is at least debatable. If you think about all the different hues and tones of just one color, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. On the web, however, there is a very definite number of colors that are web safe (or browser safe), meaning they can be displayed consistently on any PC or browser. Web developers like to work around these 216 web safe colors so the color of your image can be consistent across the board no matter who is viewing it. And remaining consistent is very important for your brand image.

If you already have a logo, you probably have your brand colors figured out. But have you thought about how the colors in your logo will impact people who see them? In our previous blog post, we talked about the tone of voice in your messaging. Well, a similar psychology is true for the colors you use. Color psychology is the study of how colors affect our behaviors.
Here are some color theories you might want to know when choosing colors for your brand and website:

Temperature: Is it a cool color or a warm color? The temperature of your colors can affect how people see something, and what feelings they have toward it.

Modes: Colors can also create feelings of space. For example, it is said blue or green tends to create coziness, whereas the color red is associated with action.

You will need to consider the right colors for your brand message. People will remember the visual impact more than the content, and the color will be associated with certain feelings so research it and choose wisely what you want to display on your website. Then stay consistent with it.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Websites #WebHosting

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Create a Story Customers Connect With

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Create a Story Customers Con...
People are eager to work with people they connect well with, that’s a fact of life. The same goes for people purchasing a product or service. If they connect well with your message, they’re likely to go further with your company. So, how do you attract customers to your company? It’s all about messaging, and here are some ideas to help…

What is the brand image you wish to convey?

Take a moment to think about the words that describe your business, product or service? Are you an eco-friendly carpet cleaner? Are you a modern and edgy graphic designer? Whatever image you want to put forth, be descriptive in order to tell your story and create your brand awareness. Use adjectives that relate to what you do, that might distinguish you from others. Then stick with it. Be consistent throughout your messaging and visuals.

What is the tone you want visitors to hear?

Associate your brand with a tone of voice you want users to hear or read. Who is your target audience? Should your tone be soft v. deeper tones, or male v. female, kid v. adult? Picture the tone your customers would connect with.

Why should they trust you?

Using the image and the tone you defined, how would you tell the story so users will trust you and your brand? Choosing the right words will make your brand go further than you can imagine, or go nowhere if you are not consistent. For example, if you have a childlike tone with fun-loving images, yet your story is about how strong and durable your product is, it may create a confusing statement to your potential customers.

What is your tag line?

A tag line is a few words about your products, your services, or your mission about your business. It shouldn’t be long, so try to stick with a sentence or phrase. It’s one line that sums up who you are using the same tone and image you wish to convey. It’s great for use in marketing materials.

Building a website is one thing, but first it’s important to have your brand messaging in place. Pretty pictures without the brand story does not mean much. Be sure to tell your story consistently within the framework of your website.
#PSPinc #Blog #SmallBusiness #Marketing #Websites #Brand #BusinessGoals #OnlineBusiness #BusinessWebsites #TagLine

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Website v. Social Media: Should you Rule one Out?

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Website v. Social Media: Shoul...
“I already have our business on Facebook so I don’t need a website.”

The above statement is true only if your goals align with what Facebook has to offer. But before you rule out having a website, here are some facts about social media versus websites you should be aware of.

Websites provide static information whereas social media is an ever-changing landscape.

Facebook, blogs, and other social media sites are considered communication networks, where information keeps moving, whereas a website can be more static in terms of the information you provide. The photos and dialogue you post on sites such as Snapchat or Facebook will disappear as time progresses. People may see your message in their newsfeed but the information will get pushed down as new information floats in. Also, you can’t guarantee all of your followers will see what you post, depending on when they login to social media versus the time you post. On the other hand, your website will remain the same and the information available all time.

Social media requires interactions whereas websites broadcast information.

If you have a Facebook business page you must keep interacting with people who visit your page. Whether they post comments, complaints, or questions - you will need to respond quickly and keep communication ongoing. Facebook visitors typically expect prompt responses so you are kind of at the mercy of the end users.

Your website is in your control.

With a website you have a lot more control as to how your content and graphics display, versus with social media you have to go along with their format. You can also choose the platform for hosting and software for management, whereas with social media, again you are at the mercy of the providers such as Facebook and Twitter. You can also put energy into search engine marketing with a website so people can find your business on Google.

In the end, you simply cannot say one is better than the other. As we pointed out in an earlier blog post, it really depends on your goals and objectives. If you believe Facebook can give you what you need to achieve your goals and objectives, go ahead with social media. If you are unsure, try both. The two can go hand in hand quite well, sharing your web pages on social media, for example. Regardless of what medium you choose, however, without your management and strategic thinking, neither one will succeed. So make sure you’re ready to put in the energy and effort in either direction.
#PSPinc #Blog #SmallBusiness #Marketing #Websites #SocialMedia #Facebook #BusinessGoals #OnlineBusiness #BusinessWebsites

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Thinking Strategically about your Company's Domain Name

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Thinking Strategically about yo...
The “domain name” for our company website is pspinc.com. A domain name is like your family name. Instead of labeling you with some numeric ID, family names can give identities to the household. In the case of a domain name for your business, it must be unique. Our domain name is “pspinc” and “.com” identifies our category as a commercial Top Level Domain, or TLD.

There are many new TLDs these days. For example, .com is a TLD, and .org is also a TLD. These TLDs identify the domain name uniquely so pspinc.com is not the same as pspinc.org. With new internet industry rules, you can purchase your own TLD if you want (it is about $150K for you to buy one). You may have seen some new ones already like .ninja, .book, .accounting, etc. Those who purchased TLDs may intend to sell the domain names with these TLDs.

Sometimes TLDs also contains country codes. For Japanese domains, it is co.jp or ed.jp. Each country has its own rule; for Japanese TLDs, you must have an address in Japan, and for commercial TLD (co.jp), you need to be registered as a business with the government.

Only 25 years ago, the number of domains in the world was in the tens of thousands, but now there are over 326 million domains as of last year, and close to 900 TLDs available in the world! Some are considered to be spam heavy so my recommendation is to stick with .com if you can.

Even then, it is hard to find available domain names today that aren’t already taken. And you really want to be particular about your domain because it will be unique to only you. It will be how you are identified online and it can play a big role in your search engine performance. For example, we own a domain called japanese-online.com for free Japanese language lessons. Because the domain name contains the word, “Japanese,” our search engine results for keywords like “Japanese learning” are very good, so good that we appear on the first page of Google search.

So think strategically and decide on a name that is memorable, not too hard to recall. Maybe it’s your company name or a variation of it, like pspinc.com is short for our company name Pacific Software Publishing, Inc. Also be aware just because there is no website affiliated with a particular domain does not mean the domain is available. Here is the official site to find out if a domain name is available: https://www.internic.net/whois.html.
#PSPinc #Blog #SmallBusiness #Marketing #CalltoAction #Websites #DomainName #BusinessGoals #OnlineBusiness #BusinessWebsites

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What to Consider Before Building your Business Website

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What to Consider Before Buildi...
Has your small business grown to the point where you need a website but are unsure about how to make that happen? Do you wish someone else would just take it over for you? If so, you’re not alone. Many small business owners would like to be hands off when it comes to the online operations, and interestingly enough, some folks will seek the advice of the younger generation, sons and daughters, to help get them started!

This month, we’re here to help you understand the benefits of having a website, so you can be in the driver’s seat toward building your website versus coaxing your high schooler to help you understand what you need. First, grab a pen to jot down some answers to the following questions:

What is your goal for having a website?

If you simply want a website for the sake of saying you have one, please don’t put any money or energy into it. Your website is another medium, through which you will gain publicity and exposure; it’s another way to market your products or services. Define your goals before you get started.

Why should people browse your website?

Asking the Why questions will help you define your objectives for having a website. Why should people know your story? Why do people need to spend time on your website? The answers will help define your objectives and the direction you should go with your website.

What should be the “Call to action”?

Once you understand your objectives, how would you like potential customers to respond? Do you want them to submit an online form, sign up for a newsletter, purchase an item, or simply call your toll-free number? What would you like them to do once they are familiar with your company? That will determine the actual content, design, and structure of your site with a call to action in there somewhere.

What is the information people need from you?

Once you know the action you want your customers to take, you can populate the website with information needed for your site visitors. For example, if you want a potential customer to sign up for your newsletter, you might give an incentive to sign up like a coupon code for free shipping. If you would like them to purchase a product online, you’d better have good product information so they can make informed decisions before they buy.

Finally, structure your thoughts.

Spread your answers to those questions out on the table and let’s think of the most logical way to structure your website. Depending on the information you wish to provide, and the call to action, you may want certain web pages and menu items for different products or services. Imagine the customer walking through your store or getting to know your business on a phone call, and think the same way for your website. The customer needs to be able to “walk through” your website, easily understating where to go and what action to take next.
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #Websites #BusinessGoals #CalltoAction

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