Category: Websites

04
Apr

3 Things Small Business Owners Need to Know in 2014

If you’re a small business owner, you are well aware that the digital world is a fast-moving monster. The good news for you is, this monster can be tamed! This article features multiple topics that you will need to know in order to grow (or stay afloat) in 2014.

1) Canada’s New Anti-Spam Legislation

This is probably the most important topic of 2014 from a marketing perspective. This July, Canada will begin to enforce it’s incredibly rigid anti-spam bill. Spam has many definitions, but falls under the category of a “CEM” or “Commercial Electronic Message”. Businesses will have a new set of rules to comply with or run the risk of suffering charges up to $1m/day of being in breach of the new legislation. The rules are quite simple to follow, however businesses both large and small need to go over their subscriber lists and re-examine what their versions of “Commercial Electronic Messages” are within their company. For details on the new legislation, click here.

ANTISPAM

2) Mobile-Optimized Sites Are Now a Standard … Not a Luxury

A recent study by Google shows that 61% of mobile internet users will leave a website if it is not mobile-optimized.  With continual growth in SmartPhone sales, it’s no wonder that over 50% of local search traffic is performed on mobile devices.

But what does “Mobile-Optimized” really mean? Most business owners believe that because their website can be seen and navigated on a SmartPhone–they therefore have a mobile-friendly website. The truth is that “mobile-optimized”, really means that your site has the ability to “respond” to the device it’s being viewed on; thus making the navigation, design and flow of the website much more intuitive and enjoyable for your potential customer.

mobile

Above is an example of a “desktop” view of a website (left) compared to a “mobile optimized” view of a website (right). Note the clarity and ability to read text without having to “pinch-to-zoom” on the mobile-optimized website?

3) Social Media is “Word Of Mouth”

shareAs each year comes to a close it becomes more and more apparent that social media is here to stay. It’s no secret that people are influenced by their peers and Facebook has become a megaphone. “Keyboard Courage” has given introverts the power to voice their opinions with minimal implications. The already vocal extraverts are expressing their ideas to larger audiences–Facebook has become a culture. Reviews are posted on a second-by-second basis by everyday people with an average audience of 300 readers.

Businesses-to-consumer businesses who have not made the jump to social media (or have social media but aren’t executing properly) are going to be facing the repercussions of their lack of online efforts in the year 2014.  Don’t be left in the dust!

 

16
Dec

Why Our Clients Dominate the Online Market

After two years of providing Steinbach and Southern Manitoba quality web design services, we are proud to say that nearly every client of ours dominates the online market in their industry by showing up first on Google when their industry and location are searched (Eg: Steinbach Mortgage Brokers, Niverville Home Builders, etc.).

This is neither luck of the draw or a random success. Virtually every client that we take on for website design sees this success and therefore sees more traffic and receives more recognition than their competitors.

See Our Web Design Success For Yourself

Search the following on Google:

Steinbach Mortgage Brokers Castle Mortgage Group Steinbach
Niverville Home BuildersHeritage Lane Builders
Deck Builders Winnipeg Deck City
Fence BuildersSilverfox Enterprises
Steinbach Prayer SoakingEagle’s Loft
Brandon Christmas Light InstallationsNorthern Lights Installations
Steinbach DJ ServicesSummer Bounce Entertainment
Steinbach Auto SpaTimber Falls

View more of our work here

 

 

11
Jan

Are You Overpaying For Website Hosting?

Here in Steinbach (and other areas of the province), too many businesses have come to us who have been overpaying for their website hosting. If you want the absolute honest truth about hosting, here it is:

Web hosting costs roughly $100 for the average website per year.  (This does not include major corporation websites or sites with online stores.)

There should be no monthly fees. If your hosting service or web designer is telling you otherwise, you may want to reevaluate.

What does Three do for website hosting? We charge $109/year. We have a $9 markup for the 15 minutes it takes to pass your information over to our web hosting service.

Our web hosting service isn’t a mysterious entity that is never seen nor heard of, it is an active part of our growing business that is readily available as the rest of the services offered by Three. Not only do we host your site for an honest price, we also keep a backup server running at all times in case one server goes down.

If you want to have minor updates done, rest in the assurance that we will take care of any bug fixes, maintain hack protection and keep your website up to date with Google–we have a packaged service that fits your needs. We offer a “Web Maintenance Package” for an additional $119/year. No monthly fees, no outrageous set up fees, just one honest rate as a “value added service” to our customers.

THAT is the truth about website hosting.

 

13
Aug

Main Street Location

As some of you may know. Three Marketing has just recently moved to 316 Main Street.  We are very excited to share office space with our great friends from Castle Mortgage Group. It’s been an incredible first year and we’re only half way through! The clients that we’ve had the honour of working with have been absolutely phenomenal and we’d like to thank each and every person who has referred us.

Starting up a business isn’t easy. It takes more time than you anticipate and even more determination. I speak on behalf of both my partner and I when I say it’s an extremely humbling experience. That being said it is an adventure–a rush.

We truly didn’t anticipate growing this quickly. Some businesses alter their vision to match their growth timelines but we can say with pride that we’ve stayed true. Every step of the way we have delivered nothing but the best customer service and design in our region and our efforts have been recognized by many prestigious businesses who appreciate that.

I’ve compiled a list of the companies who saw our potential and believed in our values:

  • Castle Mortgage Group – Steinbach
  • Steinbach Chamber of Commerce – Steinbach
  • Dreamworks Homes – Steinbach
  • The Eagle’s Loft – Steinbach
  • Edge of Time Ministries – Winnipeg
  • The Friesen Real Estate Team – Steinbach
  • Group Edge Business Solutions – Niverville
  • La Cocina Tortilla Chips – Ste. Anne
  • Limitless Interiors – Steinbach
  • Matthew Ryan Photography – Winnipeg
  • Northern Lights Installations – Brandon
  • Prudential Riverbend Realty
  • Shear Effects Hair Salon – Steinbach
  • Skyline Harvest – Blumenort
  • Stem Family Wellness – Steinbach
  • Studio 448 – Winnipeg
  • Unger Realty – Steinbach

We appreciate your business and wish you a fantastic rest of the year!

Mike Burnard
Creative Director

20
Jun

Website Design: 5 Reasons Why Most Websites Fail

After only six months of making our presence known here in Steinbach, Three Marketing has already helped several businesses created websites that prove to bring in more sales than ever before. We take pride in designing webpages that pay for themselves.

When it comes to websites and web design there are many misconceptions that business owners have. The biggest one being:

Why can’t I get away with buying a $500 website?

The cold hard answer to this question:

You get what you pay for.

A website that costs you $500 is inexpensive for several reasons:

1) Poor Google/Search Engine Rankings

This is the biggest problem a business can have with their website. The goal of your website is to be a 24/7 salesman. This is met by showing up on Google. You may be saying “Yeah Mike, but if I type on Google “my business name Steinbach” I show up just fine”–that’s not what I’m talking about. When a person in need of a service or product, he or she goes directly to Google…it is just like going through the yellow pages. They will search “Steinbach Marketing”, not “Three Marketing”. You’re website will do it’s job when people find you organically in that manner.

2) Poor design

The average time a viewer spends on a site when searching for a product or service is less than 7 seconds. If your site doesn’t contain grabbing information accented with a sleek and easy to read look…you’ve lost a potential client to the next competitor on the list.

3) Poor Functionality

If your website is built by a designer who isn’t up to date with the changing online world, your website will most likely be flawed or end up with coding errors that won’t be maintained or fixed.

4) Brand Confusion

Very often, web designers aren’t graphic designers. They don’t understand the essence of your business’ brand. This often results in colour clashing and even worse a confused customer.

5) Lack of Content

Your web designer doesn’t spend the time he/she should to fill your site with information that your customers care about. Having a web site built for you with just a logo and your contact information is just a glorified business card.

 

16
May

Steinbach Web Design

Three Marketing

Has now been up and running for 5 months. All we can say is that we are absolutely THRILLED at the response we’ve received from our clients! We have been nothing but busy working with some of the greatest clients we could have ever ask for.

When it comes to marketing in Steinbach, the biggest topic that comes up seems to be Websites and Web Design. This is no surprise to us as more and more Steinbach businesses are learning that the internet is here to stay. Having a website built is no longer a luxury–it is an industry standard.

Web design is based around more than just a page with a logo and your business’ contact information. At Three Marketing we ensure that websites not only look their best–they also do their job…and that is being a full-time salesman.

In the 90’s, when you wanted renovations done in your house, you picked up the yellow pages and searched “Renovations”. You would then call the first ad that jumped out at you. The Google is the new yellow pages, and your website is that ad that has less than 5 seconds to pull the customer in. Making sure that your website shows up in the first 3 rows on Google is how businesses are becoming more and more successful.

How do I get my website to show up first?

You ask? The answer is simple…CONTENT.

Filling your website with valuable information about what you do and how you do it is not only important to your customer, it’s important to Google. In this blog alone, I’ve already mentioned “Steinbach” and “web design” or “websites” several times. This will prove to boost our ratings on Google within weeks. Remember, Google is LOCATION BASED. That means for the most part you don’t have to worry about competing with Joe’s Renos out of BC.

What comes after content?

Aside from having an engaging website with detailed information for your customers to research and Google to eat up…you need to make sure your site LOOKS good. Web design, though most won’t be aware of this, is an art form (at least that’s what we creative directors say to keep our egos afloat!). The average human spends LESS THAN 30 SECONDS on a website when they are looking for a service. If your site is an eye-sore in any way, shape or form–You are losing customers. Nobody likes to hear this but it’s the harsh truth of the new millennium. Customers are picky and skeptical when it comes to the online world.

Tips for website/web design success:

Brand it! Get your logo up, match your colours and be consistent.

No cheese! Gimmicks no longer are a selling feature (sound effects, music, flash player)

Use your face. People like to see that your business is trustworthy. What better way then having an “About Us” page showing you and your winning smile?

Update, Update, Update. Keeping your website current is a great way of letting your clients know you’re still around…it also boosts your rankings on google.

Link it. Have links leading to your site. Use Facebook, friendly companies and free listing sites to send traffic to your site.

 

For more information on websites and web design in the Steinbach area, contact Mike@ThreeMarketing.ca or phone 204.346.4418

21
Oct

Does My Company Need Marketing?

“Does My Company Need Marketing?”

Do you often ask yourself “Does my company need marketing”? If the thought is there then you probably do. Statistics Canada shows that 52% of small businesses fail within the first five years. 75% of small businesses don’t have a marketing strategy. There is a correlation there between two statistics that should not be ignored.

The answer is “yes”. The question small businesses should be asking themselves is “What can marketing do for my business”. There are very basic steps to start with to kickstart your company and follow through processes to keep the momentum of your company going.

Successful fortune-500 company owners all agree that marketing is an investment rather than a cost. Developing a strong brand creates an emotional attachment between your valued clients and your company. U.S. Small Business Association suggests “You may want to increase your marketing budget figure to as much as 10% of expected gross sales”. At Three, we do not want you to take it to the extreme of 10%. We are able to work with any budget and are glad to do so.

Logo

Changing your company logo is not an easy choice to make, however, in some cases it’s necessary. Sometimes it is to re-spark your company’s moral, but often you just have to keep up with the ever-changing world.

There is more to a logo than most people think. There is a definite psychological implication behind every choice you make when creating a logo. Shapes, fonts and colors ALL set of triggers in the human brain. Some are calming, trusting, exciting and some trigger impulse. (The almighty McD*****s for example has two very powerful impulse colors, red and yellow).

Website

Websites have the potential to be your greatest tool. Having an active web presence is no longer an indulgence, it’s a necessity. If you want to at the very least keep up with your competitors, a website is a must. 80% of internet users search for products and services online. Putting your company’s site on the front page of Google is now one of the most effective forms of advertising your business will ever invest in.

Facebook

Facebook is no longer just an internet site that your children fight each other for to the death over. It is now an active online social connection to over 800,000,000 active users. How does this affect your company? Even though it’s an “online world” it is still community based. In North America, the majority of users are the new generation, and middle-aged women. Statistics are now showing that in over 75% of North American homes, the wife is the final decision maker when it comes to finances. If your company utilizes Facebook’s “Company Pages” function, you are now putting the face of your company in front of thousands of potential valued clients.

There are many more ways to market your company. I am only scratching the surface in this blog. I hope it has been helpful for you. If you have any questions at all be sure to call us!Marketing and strategy

06
Oct

SEO

Search Engine Optimization

Having a website built around SEO essentially means: “show up first on Google”. Google is the most used search engine on the internet today. Building your site with SEO in mind increases the chance of you showing up FIRST when the name of your product or service is typed in on Google.

When someone is new to a region they rely on Google as a referral tool. For example, if they are looking for a hair salon, they won’t know the names of the salons, they will simply type in “Steinbach Hair”. A list of related categories will then show up. Instinct on the internet is to examine one of the first three choices. At this point they will look for a comfortable brand, functional website and client testimonials.

Building a website with clear and concise content is essential for attracting relevant Google searches; but a website needs to stay active and current.

Here is a list of ways to keep your company’s website current and SEO friendly.

1) Blogging
Blogging can be integrated into your website. It is a great way of communicating with potential clients that have landed on your page. Whether it’s an engaging topic or a monthly sale special, it is the easiest form of staying current with your site visitors.

Functionality
If your website doesn’t function properly, contains dead links, or is only a one-page site–Google will not find it. It is imperative to maintain your site and have path links throughout your site to prove it’s functionality to Google.

3) Back Links
Back-links are one of the most effective ways of grabbing Google’s attention. Some company’s pay thousands of dollars a year to for active pages to host back-links. Social Media, however, is a free way of achieving this. Social Media is one of the strongest marketing tools within your reach. It focuses on local communities and gives your company an interactive online presence while hosting back-links directly to your website.

Google AdWords
Paying Google a monthly fee is an easy way of ensuring that your company shows up at the top of the page.