Are QR Codes Right For Your Small Business?

By now, most of us have seen the square barcodes stamped on everything from magazine ads to shampoo bottles to t-shirts. And with their seeming rise in popularity, many small business owners wonder, should I be using them too? The answer is still a resounding “maybe”.

Key factors to consider when deciding whether or not to get into QR (Quick Response) Codes are:
a) what you hope to accomplish with them
b) the audience you are targeting
c) the amount of time you have to devote

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For this week’s Example Site Wednesday, we are going to take a look at KGAS Radio, a website dedicated to the radio station that provides East Texas with the latest news, music, weather and local happenings. Though the website has several strong points, today we’ll focus on the site’s use of a social media toolbar.

Making the decision to add a toolbar to your website will boost your site with interactive features. For instance, KGAS Radio added a Wibiya toolbar of social media widgets and content sharing buttons to the bottom of their site. The eye-catching bar gives visitors lots of fun ways to spread the word about their site.

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With new marketing channels popping up daily and more and more studies singing the praises of “new media” marketing, it’s easy to let your traditional marketing efforts fall by the wayside. But just as relying solely on the tried and true is a dangerous strategy, so is putting all your eggs in the new media basket.

The infographic below sheds some light on how marketers and business owners are trying to find the balance in today’s market based on a recent study by Pointroll and Kenton Research.

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Drive Web Traffic with Facebook

At last count, there were 955 million users on Facebook. And if you have a Facebook Page, chances are some of those users have seen it – and even better – liked it. Now, how many of them have seen your website?

Most small business owners are aware that Facebook is a valuable tool for establishing a brand’s personality and engaging with customers. However, many administrators fall short of the next step of using their Facebook Page to drive traffic back to their main business hub – their website. Here are a few tips for making the most of your marketing efforts on Facebook:

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Screen Shot: Wizard Screens and Gutter

It’s Wednesday morning, and that means it’s time for another great example site built using SiteBuilder3.

Today we’ll take a look at the website of Wizard Screens and Gutter, a family-owned business located in Utah.

There are three really successful elements of this site that stand out most: Usability, Imagery, and Simplicity. Let’s look at each of these and discuss how they make for an overall positive first impression. Which, according to a recent study, is formed in just two tenths of a second!

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How Are Businesses Financed: [INFOGRAPHIC]

Wondering how to finance your new business venture? Whether you’re just getting started or considering refinancing your small business, there are lots of options to consider. In the infographic below you will find:

  1. The strengths and weaknesses of 7 common sources of capital
  2. A breakdown of the three most common types of business loans
  3. Some real-life examples from successful startups
Do you have a real life example to share? We’d like to hear your success story in the comments section. Click the image below to enlarge and learn more:
Chompy The Shark

There are thousands of articles in the blogosphere today about creating shareable content for your business in the hope that it will go viral. And while posting articles, photos, and videos on your website, blog, and social media sites is certainly a crucial practice (see Why Content Marketing is Important for SEO), what about getting customers to promote your business using some creative offline content?

A great example of this approach is staring though the Webs office window right now. In honor of Shark Week, the Discovery Channel building in Silver Spring, MD is once again sporting a giant, inflatable shark named Chompy – talk about shareworthy! A quick Google search yields dozens of recent results – independently shared by the public – mentioning Chompy in articles, blog posts, Facebook and Twitter updates, and photos on Instagram and Flickr.

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Another Wednesday has approached us, which means it’s time to showcase another well-made website. Today, we will be taking a look at Kikulu, a nonprofit website that seeks to create awareness and involvement among children at home on how they can each help make a difference.

Upon landing on the homepage, I could already sense how effective Kikulu’s site was going to be. The color scheme, use of imagery and content all work well together in creating a well-designed homepage.

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Have you ever wondered which elements of your website make the biggest impression? The following infographic is based on a recent eye-tracking study conducted by the Missouri University of Science and Technology depicting:

  1. Where visitor’s eyes go first when viewing your website?
  2. Which assets catch your eyes the most?
Major findings:
  1. First impressions of your website are made in less than two-tenths of a second.
  2. Viewers spend 2.6 seconds scanning a website before focusing on a particular section.
  3. Colors and images utilized play a vital role when it comes to creating favorable responses.

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This week we are showcasing a site from the Westfield Music School, a privately owned music school located in Western Massachusetts.  Their website is not only an informative and resourceful tool for customers, but it looks fantastic as well.

Using thoughtful organizational design practices, including a consistent and appealing header and background imagery, this website does a great job of truly informing their audience about their services

Here are a few tips on making your website informative and resourceful for your target audience:

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