website design services

Why Your Business Needs Its Own Website

Even if your company is locally-based and relies on foot traffic, it’s still a good idea to create your own website to reflect your new business venture. We’re living in a time now when most people search for companies and services on the internet before looking anywhere else. Decades ago, it was easy to open a phone book or ask friends about their experiences, but the internet has allowed people the chance to find great companies with viable real-person testimonials. This is why it’s crucial that you create a website for your own company in order to bring in more revenue and new clientele.

Importance of Establishing an Online Presence

One of the main benefits to establishing an online presence for your business is that you’re going to attract more customers. People who wouldn’t otherwise know that you’re in business will find you on the internet and might consider using your services. You can also improve upon your customer service using the internet because you’ll be able to answer reviews, comments and inquiries in a quick and efficient manner.

Choosing a Domain Name and Registering It

marketing online for local businessesFirst, you’ll need to think of a good domain name for your company that will attract clients and visitors to your site. Next, you’ll want to click here to learn more about domain registration in order to buy the domain name legally so that no one else has access to it. It might be a good idea to go with a name that reflects your company’s title or the type of services that you’re offering. Keep in mind that you will need to pay a monthly or annual fee in order to keep the domain in your name.

Buying Hosting

Along with registering your domain name and publishing it online, you’ll need to buy a hosting package to publish your site onto the worldwide web. Without hosting, you won’t have space to upload files and images to the internet and will only have a domain name that isn’t able to do anything. There are a ton of hosting sites available to choose from, so be sure to compare a variety of them before making your final decision. You will need to pay a monthly fee to keep the hosting account active and your site published online.

How to Successfully Run a Website

Running a successful website means that you need to put the time and work into getting it known through marketing and advertising campaigns. You will also need to integrate search engine optimization into each page to rank higher on popular search engines. You can hire outside companies to do this type of marketing for you, but keep in mind that you’ll pay a fee for their services. Once your site takes off, you’ll still need to put the effort into maintaining it so that you don’t lose visitors and instead continue to grow your business’s online presence from the ground, up.

call tracking for small business

Small Business Benefits From Call Analytics

Many small businesses make the mistake of dismissing call analytics altogether as something they will not find necessary for their business. Call tracking and call analytics happen to be two of the most basic services that a company can benefit from when it comes to marketing. Marketing is all about getting your company name and service out to those who are looking for you to fill a void they have been filling on their own. How ever you look at it, marketing costs a lot for many companies so most business owners go at it various ways. Small businesses sadly seem to try a hit and miss method, throwing money at marketing campaigns and hoping one of them hits the target and they see the growth. This cannot ensure results or profit because it is so hard to measure the success of the return on such a blind investment. Call tracking is actually an invaluable investment to cover the incoming calls for a company.

call tracking for small businessWhen creating new ideas for marketing campaigns, whether it’s billboard marketing, a commercial campaign or simply an email campaign, deciding which is the most successful and worth repeating is the most effective with services of call analytics and ad tracking. Call tracking software can actually record the data of each call including information like which line was being called, where it originated from, how long it lasted and of course which sales were completed. Using call tracking software a company can also add meta tags, meaning notes that will help those analyzing the data to know more about the call and measure success according to personal goals. For example, if a women’s supplement was trying to have a successful market directed at men for their wives it might be helpful to record when men call and when women call.

There are so many variations of what makes ad tracking successful for a company. Most of the time it’s up to those in the company who have set the goals to make sure they are reaching them. Call analytics can also be incredibly efficient for training sales reps who are answering the phones since every call can be recorded for quality purposes. So no matter what size your business is, nor what you do- cleaning services or selling antiques- you will find that your company is greatly benefited by the use of measuring calls and the success of all the variables that call tracking offers to a company.


smartphone marketing

Why Should You Start Marketing Your Business To Millions Of Smartphone Users?

Smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of daily life, particularly for the younger set. Those of us who remember when cell phones first came out, roughly the size of a brick and just as heavy might be a bit bemused by the latest advances in technology. Nowadays, it seems as though the latest smartphones can do everything but physically make you dinner. There are definitely enough apps out there, however, to have the phone tell you how to make dinner, at the very least.

On that note, apps are another way to harness the power of mobile marketing. This is an especially good one for startups to consider, as app development and implementation is actually one of the best ways to get the most out of mobile marketing for your money. For those who aren’t exactly in the know, an app is short for the word application. Since smartphones are like mini computers but dont work in the exact same way, there are certain programs that companies have developed to help smartphones function more like a traditional computer. These programs are the apps.

mobile marketingApps are extremely popular in todays day and age, particularly given the prevalence of smartphones. There are apps that specialize on everything from coupons to fashion to locating others in the area for potential dates. What does this mean for people who are interested in mobile marketing? Creating an app is a great way to get your message across to users and help enhance your overall marketing presence.

Companies can use apps to great advantage. Many larger companies either sell or give away apps to interested consumers, and then they pack those apps with either deals or great content to share with the consumers who have installed the apps on their phones. Having an app that centers around your business and products is a great way to keep your loyal customers up to date on what your company is doing and how they can serve the consumer better.

Not to mention, apps are definitely cutting-edge insofar as technology is concerned. If you are able to offer you consumers an app for their smartphones, youre signaling to the consumer that both you and your company are hip to the technological savvy of the populace. Youll be able to get your customers information on an as-needed basis. Apps can even help customers locate your stores or outlets if they should happen to be in an unfamiliar area and have a sudden Jones for your product.

So if you’re looking to break into the world of mobile marketing, you should most certainly give app development a second look. If you can get your idea into an app and onto the phones of your consumers, your consumers will most certainly be giving you a second look as well and a third, a fourth, a fifth, and as many more as fast as technology can travel.

The Pros and Cons of Mobile Marketing

local business marketing online

Why Local Businesses Fail With Online Marketing

Online marketing can be a mystery to many small business owners and it’s even more difficult when so called “experts” are giving them conflicting information. Who should they believe? How do they know which strategy is the right one for their business?

My heart goes out to so many small business owners who struggle to wrap their arms around the online marketing game. It is constantly changing and as the old saying goes, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”. So it isn’t surprising that they can talk to three different marketing agencies and come back with three different strategies.

It’s no wonder some small businesses struggle with their online marketing strategy. We’ve compiled a list of ways that local small businesses fail with their online marketing and how they can avoid these mistakes.

1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – Don’t focus exclusively on internet marketing. Given that this article is about internet marketing, this item may seem out of place. But it is important to note that although the internet is a powerful source for driving new business and building your brand, it shouldn’t be the only marketing strategy in your arsenal.

local online marketing2. Marketing budget is too low – If you consider the national average for businesses of all sizes, the average marketing budget is about 10% of the entire budget. Now if you compare that to the local small business owner, 56% spend less than 3% of their total budget on all of their marketing. Unless you or someone in your business has the skills needed to develop a strong online marketing program, you should be investing in your online strategy.

3. Outdated or poorly optimized website – When it comes to marketing online your website becomes your central point for sales. All your social platforms, online ads and videos should lead consumers back to your website. Having a website that make a strong first impression is important. Make sure contact information stands out and that the site is easy to navigate. Your visitors should be able to easily find the information they are looking for.

4. Don’t forget about the power of email marketing – We recently sat down with one of our landscaping clients who was getting ready for their busy season. Instead of spending marketing dollars on ads for sprinkler startup and aeration, we suggested they create an email campaign to reach out to previous customers who used these services in the past. It doesn’t cost anything but a few hours of their time and will get them off to a fast start this season.

5. Capture the low hanging fruitLeverage local search to be found by consumers who are ready to buy right now. Smart phones are everywhere and the number of mobile searches for local intent has surpassed desktop searches. Consumers searching via a mobile device will make a purchase within 3 days more than 50% of the time. Mobile users search for everything from shopping and restaurants to home services.

6. Don’t try to do it all by yourself – Marketing online is complex and ever changing so unless you have an in house specialist, it will too challenging to keep up with. It’s true that some online marketing can be expensive but you don’t have to do it all at once. Figure out what your budget is and start with something small. As sales increase your marketing budget should follow.

“Business success is all about finding the right outside service providers and using them wisely. You can’t do it all yourself.” ~ Anita Campbell, Founder of Small Business Trends.

7. Hire the “right” marketing agency – Small business owners are experts in their business but they don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to marketing online. This becomes a Catch 22 – how do you hire a good agency when you don’t know what to look for. Part of this will be following your gut but it should also include asking a lot of questions and asking for referrals. Also, if you’re unsure about an agency start off with a smaller project that doesn’t take too long. This way you can see how the agency works and if they follow through with your expectations.

Last but not least….

local marketing failureDo something! Procrastinating and waiting for the right moment is a sure fire way to fail. Put together your online marketing strategy with timeframes and budget. Having something in writing will give you a blueprint for success. Make changes to your blueprint as things change.

If you would like help with your marketing strategy, schedule a free no-obligation 30 minute consultation.

cure for writers block

An Effective Cure For Writers Block – Don’t Stop Blogging!

Unless you’ve engaged the assistance of a blog writing service, you are pretty much on your own for content creation. Assuming that you already have a busy operation to run, you probably don’t have time for writer’s block. Fortunately, we have some effective cures for when you run into this common obstacle.

The first tip comes from the folks at

Chug some caffeine


Okay. Okay. I know caffeine isn’t good for you. But sometimes you need something to keep going. Don’t waste your fantastic ideas just because you can’t keep awake.

Try this schedule: Set a kitchen timer for 25 minutes – or use the focus booster. After 25 minutes of concentrated writing, take a break. Stop even if you feel like finishing a paragraph.

Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee. Start your next 25 minutes and drink your cup of coffee.

Green tea fuels my blog posts. What fuels yours?

Sometimes it helps just to look back at your older, most successful blog posts. What topics seemed to gain the most traction with your target audience and sparked engagement? Maybe it’s time to elaborate on those topics, or perhaps reviewing your old content may even spark a new idea. Referencing your older content provides you with a great opportunity to link back to the original post when writing your new one.

Yet another idea from

Switch Topics

If you are having problems with a particular piece, stop writing it. Go on to something completely different. Something radical. Something new. Something you never thought you would write about. If you’re writing about the shrinking middle class-stop and start writing about some childhood experience that left a mark on you. Your work doesn’t have to be publication quality. It just has to be something different.

Take advantage of social media. Ask your followers about which topics are most important or interesting to them. You could also utilize your multimedia tools to add another element to your blog, such as a video post or a series of photos. Or you can do what I’m doing right now and curate some content from other peoples articles. Just make sure you link back and give credit when you do.

Your ultimate goal should be to create content that is interactive and engages your audience. Developing new ways to continue to inspire your readers. If you need help developing a marketing strategy for your business that will make the most from all of your marketing efforts. Contact us and schedule a free 30 minute consultation.

wordpress marketing tools

WordPress: An Important Online Marketing Tool

Understanding that a website essentially acts as a virtual storefront, the majority of small to medium sized businesses in the U.S. have created some type of website in an effort to reach more customers. Unfortunately, due to the time and expense that it takes to create and manage a website, some small business owners have decided not to spend their resources in this area at all, therefore missing out on a huge opportunity.

For those budget minded business owners, WordPress is the ideal small business marketing tool that can be used to create a professional looking website and business blog. WordPress is a free website design for small businesscontent management system that is extremely user friendly and allows you to edit and manage your site without having to know the HTML or coding. This means that you can still have a great website for your business without spending the money on an expensive web developer to create and maintain your site.

We use WordPress for not only our blog, but all of our clients’ blogs that we host and manage! Before we get into the feature and benefits of WordPress, here’s a straightforward graphic that outlines the difference between and

As you can see, is the best choice for your small business. Although it will cost you money (as is ‘free’), the money will be well worth it in the end. Outlined below is a brief overview of the features that WordPress offers users:

  • Themes: You can select from a wide variety of free themes to give your website a distinctive look. In the event that you wanted to custom design something, you can refer to the massive WordPress development and designer community for assistance.
  • Plugins: Plugins add functionality to your website, such as creating a forum for discussions or a customer only area. Basically, if you can think it up, there is probably already a plugin that is available to meet your needs.
  • Blog: We hear so much these days that content is king, and an easy way to produce more content to boost SEO is to create a business blog. With WordPress, you can easily create a blog to help drive more traffic to your website.

In conclusion, while many people often think of WordPress as a blogging platform, it really is a much more powerful small business marketing tool that can also be used to create and maintain a website. WordPress is also extremely SEO friendly and makes it easy to share your content through your various social media channels as well, making it a valuable social media marketing tool as well.

website design for small business

Improving The Conversion Rate Of Your Website

The home improvement industry as well as some other service industries have a greater need for an easy to navigate website. So when it comes to our websites all the shiny bells and whistles look great but if a visitor can’t find what they need quickly, they just move on.

Here we are going to take a look at some features that will help increase the leads and sales conversions generated from your website.

Contact information – most people will pick up the phone and call for service repairs and they are hoping to speak with someone right now. Most homeowners will get a list of contractors and start dialing, looking for a quote or to get an answer to a problem. If they have to hunt for your companies contact information, they lose interest and go to the next website. Make sure your contact information is easily visible on every page. The top right corner is the most common practice and is easy for consumers to find. It is also a good idea to have it in the footer as well. And of course you should have a contact page with your phone number prominently displayed.
Contact forms – Some consumer still prefer email to narrow down the top few contractors they want to speak with. It isn’t always easy for consumers to get away from work to manage their personal home maintenance needs so an easy to find quote form is ideal. Keep your forms short and simple, getting just the important information needed to provide a quote. The home improvement industry doesn’t always lend itself to accurate quotes via the internet so in these instances find out the best time and number to contact the consumer. Your contact form should be on the home page, most if not all of your inner pages and definitely on your contact page.

Services – break down your services into easy to navigate pages. So for example you might have a page or section dedicated to residential services and another for commercial services. Or a repairs page and replacement page. Whatever makes the most sense for you industry. Your services and links to the inner pages should be prominently displayed on the home page so your visitors can easily find what they need.

Simple but attractive website – Unless you service a high end clientele, a simple design that is easy to navigate and looks nice will do the trick. Avoid light colored text on a dark background. Studies have found that most people will not read an entire site that is opposite of the norm. Now this isn’t always the case…. some light text on dark performs well so just be cautious going down this road.

I have seen some unattractive website perform well when they follow the guidelines above so there is no silver bullet when it comes to website conversions but the list laid out in this article will help 80% of website perform better. Contact Social Climb for your free consultation.

8 Best Practices for Website Design


Track Your Online Business

Set objectives with Google Analytics Goal Tracking

If you didn’t already know, Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to measure the performance of your website. One of its more powerful abilities is Goal Tracking, which allows you to create and measure specific user actions on your website, such as shopping cart purchases, blog article reads, or recommendations on social media. With this information you can measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns, test which of two layouts is best, and determine the success of your business’s social media page.

Our Social Climb team uses Goal Tracking as a part of the website optimization process for our clients, as well as during launch promotion planning. For those of you who are interested in managing these tools yourself, or learning about some of the components we can help you use, here are three of Analytics’ most useful features:

URL Tracking
google analytics toolsThere are a variety of ways that people arrive at your site and finding out which are working hardest for you is a crucial part of maintaining a steady stream of visitors. URL tracking allots you the ability to create custom URL addresses for gathering data from specific sources. You can check your search marketing campaigns, track repeating customers and how they purchase the items in their shopping cart, all by assigning these addresses to Analytics to oversee.

Funnels are a useful asset to URL tracking in which you specify a route through the various pages of your website. User data is then collected on the progress and frequency of that route. You use your custom addresses you’ve created and track the path taken to arrive at a secondary address. For instance, you set up a funnel between a particular item to the last step in your shopping cart to track how many people are purchasing that product. This allows you to see whether visitors are completing the funnel in the way you expect, or whether there are problems (such as visitors leaving before checking out), highlighting where improvements can be made in order for the desired transaction to occur.

Duration & Page Visits
Analytics keeps track of how long a visitor has been on your site based on recorded arrival and departure time stamps. The only drawback of the time stamp system is that the duration cannot be measured until a visitor has left one page for another, even if they have been there for hours. Duration is useful for monitoring how involved visitors are with your content and detecting the speed with which people are navigating. Specifying duration goals, such as setting a limit of three minutes, would alert you of how many people had stayed on a particular page for three minutes or more.

You can also monitor page visits; who is visiting, how often and how quickly they proceed. Statistics gathered from this section will determine the level of user-friendliness your site exudes.

Events with Goal Tracking are just goal items you wish to track that don’t already fall into one of the above categories. A few items that can be considered Events, are:
Social media links that lead back to your site to monitor the effectiveness of your social media campaign.

Downloads on your site; are your resources being used?
Videos or photo galleries; are they useful or just filling up space?
Other external sources of traffic to your website, such as in email blasts or newsletters.
If you can name it, you can most likely track it in Events, down to a single mouse click.

Knowing is half the battle
Google Analytics provides an extensive set of tools and yields a great deal of information about the success and usability of your website, empowering you to measure the results of your efforts. Without empirical data about how your site is used and which strategies are effective, any effort to improve the way you do business online is tantamount to guesswork.

Social Climb’s marketing specialists are experienced in crafting digital strategies to suit your unique business needs. Whether you hire us to assist you or plan to do it yourself, Goal Tracking should be an integral part of your marketing efforts. To find out how your company can benefit from the use of Goal Tracking to improve website performance, feel free to contact us.

online marketing strategies

Top Marketing Strategies To Grow A New Business

Starting a business can be the most exciting, frustrating, challenging and rewarding undertaking we ever do. Like so many we dive the business full of ideas, dreams and ambition. But sometimes all the planning doesn’t give is the dose of reality that hits us once we get started.

Some entrepreneurs hire a business coach but many go it alone… and as someone who didn’t hire a business coach, I discovered very quickly that I at least needed to get involved with like minded groups and online coaches that offered training, coaching and more importantly accountability. It’s easy to focus on the wrong things and “not see the forest for the trees”. So having gone through many challenges and at times still going through the growing pains I thought it might be of some value to share what I’ve learned.


  1. Identify your weaknesses early – Entrepreneurs wear many hats (especially when we are getting started), we can be everything from the janitor to the CFO when our businesses are young. This is the time to identify the things we may not be very good at, the things we really don’t like to do and the things we love about our business.
  2. Hire a coach or join a group – Get help with the things that you may not be very good at. This could be marketing, managing finances, managing employees or some other aspect of the business. There are a great number of groups that can be a voice of reason when we need it, offer guidance and information to help overcome the challenges.
  3. Find an accountability partner – There are some tasks in our business that we don’t enjoy doing and these tend to get pushed to the bottom of our to do list. An accountability partner is someone you meet with bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly depending on your needs. You help by holding them accountable for tasks and goals in their business and they will do the same for you. There is no greater motivation than realizing you have an accountability meeting next week and you haven’t completed the task you were committed to doing before the next meeting.


small-business-marketing-strategiesThese 3 items are really foundational components of your business. Develop processes, structure and time frames for all the tasks needed to keep your business running and over time these will become daily, weekly and monthly habits.


  1. Spend 70% of your time growing your business – 70% sounds like a lot of time but sales are the life blood of every business. Without a steady stream of sales your business will become stagnant and the slightest shift in your market could be devastating.
  2. Track all your marketing – If you spend time or dollars on a marketing strategy you need to be able to analyze it 30 days out. Keep the marketing strategies that deliver the highest ROI. Dump the ones with a low ROI or negative ROI and keep trying new things.
  3. Develop inbound and outbound marketing strategies – Inbound is most beneficial for service based businesses. Outbound tends to work better for eCommerce, insurance and the health care niche but there is no hard fast rule; every market and niche is a little different.
  4. 80/20 rule – Invest 80% of your efforts on the marketing tactics that are bringing you the greatest return. Spend 20% of your time trying new marketing tactics, testing and learning. Technologies are changing so fast that it is nearly impossible to keep up with the newest big thing… this is where you will be really glad you joined a group of entrepreneurs, marketers and like minded individuals.
  5. Stay focused – For me this was the hardest thing to do. I’m like a sponge that gathers all types of information from the internet, conversations and my groups. I love to test new marketing concepts. And this can quickly send me down a rabbit hole and way outside of my wheelhouse. My accountability partner has played a major role in keeping me on task. This doesn’t mean that I can’t test new concepts – I just ask myself these two questions; “is this project going to benefit the current business goals?” and “will this enhance the business financially?”. If I can answer yes to these two questions, I can spend less than 20% of my time testing (or “playing” as I call it).

In summary, there are many rewards to having your own business. Developing a strong foundation, hiring great employees and having a good marketing strategy will set you on the right path to success. I want to leave you with one important thing if you take nothing else from this article; Seriously, spend 70% of your time on sales. All of the other work will get done… it really will. You’ll have the finances to hire more employees and if you really don’t enjoy sales, hire a sales rep or a marketing company to deliver exclusive leads… just focus on growing!

local marketing stats for small business

Local Marketing Statistics That Impact Your Business

Developing an online marketing strategy for your local business means keeping up with the latest trends and understanding your customers. You’ll find a plethora of marketing statistics online from search engine optimization to local marketing. Understanding how this information is applicable to your local business can be challenging.

Back in July we wrote about Launch of Google’s New Ads in Local Pack and how it could impact local businesses. I was recently talking to one of our National clients who read our article and called me to find out how they could take advantage of these changes. She saw an opportunity to start marketing locally in her biggest markets and possibly reducing her national Adwords campaign cost.

There is a value in keeping up with local marketing trends. So how do you figure out what your local business should be doing?

Solution: Local Marketing Stats
Make use of local marketing statistics to focus your current marketing strategy


local business marketing trendsEighty percent of Internet Users Own a Smartphone

In 2015 desktop searches was surpassed by mobile searches. Google changed their algorithm to boost mobile friendly websites. This change rocked the SEO industry and was dubbed “Mobilegeddon” because it was believed to have a significant impact on local rankings. Some business were impacted more than others (both positively and negatively).

It’s inevitable that technology will continue to develop and mobile will increasingly become more important to your business. The best way to know how many of your visitors are mobile is to take a look at your Google Analytics. You can see a break down of the traffic coming from mobile devices vs. desktop.


Twenty percent of consumers look for answers to complex questions on social media

Just as mobile search has changed online marketing, so to has social media. Today consumers spend more time on a variety of social media platforms. Yes, they do spend time venting about their day and uploading pictures of their lunch, but they also spend a great deal of time looking for answers and asking questions. This is especially true with the Millennials.

The questions posed in social media are on a wide range of topics from “how do I fix my leaky faucet” to “I’m upgrading my old junky car, what kind of car should I buy?”. Your business can be there to answer these questions. Knowing the most common questions your potential customers have will allow you to post answers via an FAQ on your website, YouTube videos and blog posts that answer these questions. If you have the resources, setting up Google Alerts will help your staff find and respond to these questions directly. You can search places like Quora, Twitter, Yahoo Answers to name a few.


Word-Of-Mouth is the #1 influencer among Millennials

When it comes to making purchasing decisions, Millennials look more closely at online reviews and referrals. As of 2015, the number of Millennials are greater than Baby Boomers, making up 25% of the US population. This group will undoubtedly become an increasingly more important makeup of your customer base. Creating a strong online reputation will be invaluable for your business going forward. Sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook are some of the places Millennials turn to currently (This will most likely changes as more review sites become more popular).


Content Searches have a great close ratio

Content marketing is the new trend that so many local businesses are reluctant to adapt. Leads from a content search are eight times as likely to result in a sale. Consumers are searching for answers, helpful information that is useful. Developing content for your blog will allow you to share your knowledge and attract consumers who are looking for this type of information. These articles can then be shared across many social platforms, email campaigns and advertising.


Keeping up with trends can help your local business put more emphasis on marketing that will have a greater impact on your business. Share your experience with these and other trends that are impacting local business today.

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