WordPress Website Maintenance

Getting a brand new website can be exciting for any business, especially if it’s a redesigned site and you are finally upgrading to a modern, responsive design. Our specialty is designing websites with WordPress, but we find many of our customers because they are looking for someone to help them understand WordPress. Many just need someone (or a company) to help them maintain their website each month with updates or small changes. WordPress is a content management system that is loaded with bells and whistles if you want them. Unfortunately for lots of small businesses, their web designer gave them a beautiful website but didn’t really go over the nuances of maintaining it each month. The business owner is left to their own devices to try and figure it out. At Website Solutions, Inc. we are all about educating our clients on things like WordPress. Our staff is well versed in WordPress and we always include tutorial service as part of our website design packages. Our goal is help get your company up and running on the web as efficiently as possible. If you are always having to stop what you are doing and contact your web guy (or girl) to answer a question about a simple update to WordPress, that is not productive.  We go over items like plugins, widgets, basic page additions, creating templates, or deleting material. Most websites are not stagnant creatures, they evolve over time so it’s only natural to expect some changes to your website each week or month. Many business owners take on writing a blog and that can be daunting if you are not sure how to do it. Give us a call or email us and we can help get your current WordPress website back on track. Whether you need a few hours of tutoring or want us to make some simple updates, we would be happy to talk with you about your website needs. WordPress website maintenance doesn’t have to be a hassle.

Free estimates available.
ph: 503-830-3959

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Content Writing for Small Business

Writing content for any website should be taken seriously. Google likes fresh, new content on almost every website. It shows that someone is staying active with the site and new things are being added. Stagnant websites are those that get lost in the shuffle, while sites that continually put up new articles, content, images, stories, etc. are bound to be seen more often in search results. Content writing for small business owners can be difficult for them to write themselves. Often, they just don’t have the time to do it. Other times they are not confident enough to write a page of content for their website. One of our services is to help small businesses stay current on their sites with fresh content. We will usually collaborate on the writing, making sure they hit plenty of keywords in the article and have it edited properly for spelling errors, typos, etc. Many times blogs get tiresome and old. We suggest that website owners put informative articles about their business or service up on the site, not just the blog. An easy way to do this is by showing your current projects. We get our clients to take photos of projects they are working on and submit a small writeup to accompany those pictures on the website. It’s rather easy to accomplish this task in an hour or two and we can help get it online quickly. Updates to websites don’t have to be done daily, but once every few weeks we suggest posting something to your website, blog, Facebook feed, projects, etc. Our writers are experts in handling keywords that will fit with your content matter and help get your website listed more prominently on search engines. It was once said that ‘content is king’ and we still feel that is mostly true. The more relevant, unique content you can get online related to your business, the better your website should be. You want to offer information about your company, the industry, or projects you are working on.

If you need help in writing content for your website, please contact us as we can help get you started in the right direction.

Free estimates available.
ph: 503-830-3959

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Social Media for Small Business

Our clients are constantly asking us about social media and how it can help their online business and reputation. We always start with the basics. Opening a Facebook page for your business is simple enough and all small businesses should consider it. It doesn’t cost anything but a little bit of your time (or ours). Word of mouth has always been an important part of any small business – who doesn’t like referrals. The flipside is that the Internet has made it even easier for those that don’t like your business to bash it online. We’ve seen restaurants go out of business due to bad reviews posted on places like Yelp. So how do you go about protecting your online reputation? Be proactive. Don’t wait for things to go wrong before committing time and energy to your social media accounts. Try to post things to your Facebook page once a week if possible. What should you post? Specials, seasonal news related to your business, discount offers (so people come back), new products or services you offer, etc. Twitter has really taken off in the last year or so and many companies have opened up a Twitter handle. Not a bad idea to at least get your business name on Twitter – think something like Twitter.com/Coke. At least you’ll own your name on Twitter and no one else can snake in and take it. Pinterest is another excellent social media site – think photos. Post photos of your latest work if you are a carpenter or upload pictures of clothes if you run a boutique. Pinterest can be shared by users and so with a little help from your friends you can promote your business for free. Yes, all these social media accounts do take time to manage, so be prepared. We often recommend setting a side a certain day or time each month to look at your social media accounts and take care of them all at once.

One option is to hire a local social media guru and have them update your accounts. Usually cost about $100 to $200 a month, but it can work in your favor if that consultant is good at what they do. Much like anything else in the online world, if you leave social media on the back burner, other companies and businesses will get their services listed online in front of potential customers and you will lose business. You can’t neglect this aspect of online marketing. Embrace it and become knowledgeable of Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Pinterest at the least.

Mobile devices

Mobile Friendly Website Design Portland

Do you really need a mobile friendly website? One of the biggest influences on this topic is Google – the king of all search engines. Google has increasingly told website owners that having a responsive or mobile friendly website is critical if they want their site to still appear in searches that are done on mobile devices. That means that if someone is searching for a particular topic on a cell phone or tablet, they may not be able to see your website in the search results if your website is not mobile friendly. Yes, Google gets to determine that from their end of things. Want to check and see if your website is mobile friendly? Go ahead and Click Here. Just type in your website URL or address and Google will let you know. At Website Solutions Inc. we create mobile friendly websites in Portland – almost all are produced using WordPress. The responsive WordPress themes make it easy to transition to a mobile friendly website. How much does it cost? That all depends on your current website. For many of our small business customers we can produce a quality, responsive website for less than $2500. Some are even cheaper than $1500. One thing that we suggest to all our potential clients is to first look at your website statistics and see how many of your daily or monthly visitors are actually accessing your website on a mobile device. Those websites with less than 10% of their visitors coming from mobile devices can probably put a mobile friendly website on hold. Our cutoff for recommending a responsive website is when we see a 20% or greater frequency of website users coming from mobile devices to your website. If you sell products or services on your website, you really need to consider how those mobile users are viewing and getting around your website once they arrive. If they have to resize text or scroll all over the place just to get to the important information, odds are they will leave your site within a few seconds. A mobile friendly website design will surely help keep those same visitors from leaving your site prematurely. Please contact us with any question in regards to mobile friendly web design here in the Portland area. We will gladly consult with you free of charge to discuss your website needs.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Why SEO Is Important For Your Business

1. SEO is Good for Business Visibility and Branding

When we meet with clients we often start the conversation by asking what their goals are for their website. Do they want to add content? Change the design? Work on SEO?

Many small business owners don’t really understand the intricacies of search engine optimization. They view their website as an online brochure for potential customers to see, but they don’t understand the complexities of marketing that website on the web. It starts with SEO. That involves quality, unique content that will drive online users to their website via search engines and incoming links from other websites. SEO helps build your websites online profile and strengthens its ability to become listed more prominently amongst the search engine results you want to get listed for. If your company manufactures neon signs, then you want to come up in the top 10 search results on Google for the words ‘neon signs’. It’s not always easy to achieve that lofty goal of a Top 10 listing, but it’s something every business should be striving for. The more often you can get your business to come up in the search engine results, the better it is for visibility and branding purposes. Ultimately Internet users get used to seeing your name when searching for certain keywords and you build trust and hopefully long term customers. SEO includes many facets – link building, social media, content, meta tags, title tags, page titles, site layout and link structure, fixing broken links, making sure all images are titled properly, and the list goes on. One reason we find many businesses neglecting the SEO portion of their website is because they are honestly overwhelmed by the entire process. Where should we start? – is what we get more often than not. A simple website audit will quickly define trouble spots and allow any good SEO service or consultant to get started with priorities for you to work on. It might be that your web content is thin and needs some improvement. Perhaps your backlinks are minimal and a link building plan is in store. Often there are many things that need to be addressed and the business owner can direct resources to the most important aspects of SEO. Search engine optimization is hard work and takes time to implement properly. There is no quick answer to SEO, but as a business owner you need to address the situation and get started on building your website visibility and brand as soon as possible. I guarantee your competition is not sitting there waiting for you to take action.