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Help Fight Hosting Deficiency Syndrome

Help Fight Hosting Deficiency Syndrome

Help Fight HDS #thereishope

About Hosting Deficiency Syndrome

Hosting Deficiency Syndrome (HDS) is a serious problem plaguing the WordPress community. Symptoms include slow page load times, the need for caching plugins, poor security, out of date WP installations, terrible customer service, and more.

Fortunately there is hope.

The treatment for HDS is Managed WordPress hosting from www.GetFlywheel.com. Their dedicated team of hosting professionals will migrate your site for free and have your website operating better in no time.

If you, or a company you know suffers from HDS, please contact them today.

About Flywheel

Hosting Deficiency SyndromeFlywheel is an amazing WordPress hosting company based in Omaha, Nebraska (AKA The Silicon Prairie). They do an awesome job of managing WordPress hosting for design firms like us at Workshed.com. If your website is built on WordPress, check them out (Also they do free migrations, which is very, very, helpful).


CONTACT FLYWHEEL

 

About Workshed

We approach design, marketing, and websites from a business owners perspective. Sure, we love cool tech just as much as the next geek, but we know that providing solutions to real business problems is a better way to provide value.

CONTACT WORKSHED

 

Financial Advisor Websites | 5 questions to ask yourself

Financial Advisor Websites | 5 questions to ask yourself

The Office Audit

Back when I first started as a financial adviser, Van Kampen mutual funds was doing a big ‘value add’ push to attract more business. I’m not sure how successful their effort was for them, but one of the positive outcomes I received was an introduction to their office audit (along with a few books like “Storyselling for Financial Advisers” and “Millionaire’s Advisor“) which helped advisers understand the non verbal messages an office can communicate to clients and prospects. The typical suggestions usually consisted of things like “remove clutter,” “add pictures of family,” and “display your hobbies.” All of which were intended to instill confidence and make connections. The same is true (perhaps more so) of your website.

 

Financial Advisor Websites Audit

an image 5 questions for ask about financial advisor websitesPull up your website and pretend it’s one of your competitors. If you were looking at it for the first time what would it say about you and your company? Does it help someone learn anything meaningful about your firm or differentiate you from all the other advisors out there?

Here are a few questions to help you conduct an audit on your firm’s website:

  • How often to you add content?
  • Is the content written by you or someone at your firm?
  • Does your home page answer the WIFM question for prospects?
  • Is your website build to be search engine friendly?
  • How does your website look on a mobile phone or tablet?

Write down your answers to these questions. Have your staff do the same. Unless your answers were weekly, yes, yes yes, and great, there is room for improvement. Enhancements to anyone of these areas can lead to significant improvement in the conversion of visitors (or getting more visitors) into clients.

In reality there are many factors that go into building great looking, high performing financial advisor websites, but by starting with these 5 you’ll have an advantage (assuming you do something after asking the questions) over your competition. I’d also recommend reading Storyselling for Financial Advisers and Millionaire’s Advisor, they are great books that will help you connect with clients and run your practice more efficiently. If you need help or have questions, you can get them answered with a quick message here: [gravityform id=”9″ name=”Investment Advisers” title=”false” description=”false”]

 

50% off a Social Media Makeover

50% off a Social Media Makeover

Social Media Makeover

UPDATE: For the rest of March, we’re offering our social media makeover for 50% off!

Social media is one of the first places prospective clients are going to “meet” you and your company. What will their first impression be? Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts (yes you should have an account on each) are sending the right message, by letting the Workshed team create a custom profile and background image for each.

Social Media Makeover

What’s it cost?

Typically we charge $500-$600 for this service, but through the end of March we’re “slashing our prices” (imagine the guy with the crazy radio voice) and offering it for $300. For those within the range of our photographer, that’s an epic deal, for the rest of you…you’ll have to settle for a great deal!

What about the free giveaway?

To enter the “Great Social Media Makeover Giveaway” is easy. Just tell us in the comments below how you currently use social media (if at all) to market your business and share this post to the social network of your choice.

Share the social media makeover

Facebook Share link for the social media makeoverShare the social media makeover on Google+Custom Share link for the social media makeoverLinkedIn Share link for the social media makeover

[clear]If you are selected we’ll contact you with the rest of the details.

For the forward thinking types who want to proceed with the social media makeover anyway (because it’s such a great deal, and you know how important it is) we’ll refund your payment if you are selected.

What’s Included?

Photography

If you are within 30 miles of our office, we’ll send Brady over with his fancy camera to take pictures! If you’ve ever had professional pictures taken, you know this is a screaming deal. If you are not within range of our visual arts master, we take what you have and work with it. If it’s rubbish, we’ll do something with graphics instead.

Facebook Page

Custom Profile Image Custom Cover Photo

Google Plus Page

Custom Profile Image Custom Cover Photo

YouTube Profile

Custom Profile Image Custom Channel Art

Twitter Profile

Custom Profile Image Custom Background Image Custom Header

LinkedIn Page

Custom Header Image Custom Standard Logo Custom Square Logo

Universal (for your other pages)

Custom Background Image Custom Profile Image

Share the social media makeover

Facebook Share link for the social media makeoverShare the social media makeover on Google+Custom Share link for the social media makeoverLinkedIn Share link for the social media makeover

[clear]

Social Media Makeover Form

[gravityform id=”10″ name=”Social Media Makeover ” title=”false” description=”true”]

5 Important Steps To Optimize Images For The Web

5 Important Steps To Optimize Images For The Web

Images are essential to an effective website. Quality photos can mean the difference between a successful website and an ugly website that burns the retinas of it’s viewers.

Photos are especially important for websites that need to communicate anything visual; such as products, artwork, or services.

Here are a couple of websites that do a great job communicating visually with images:
www.spotify.com
www.littleco.com

Not only is it important to be posting big beautiful photos, it is equally important that they are properly optimized for the web. Not having properly optimized photos means you are probably missing out on potential visitors and sales.

Do your images provide Google and other search engines with the relevant information they need to be properly indexed? If not, how are people going to find them?

Are your photos too big? If so, they could be taking longer than necessary to load on phones and other mobile devices.

Why optimize your images?

Google can’t read photos… at least not very well. This is why you need to tell Google what the image is so that Google can correctly index and organize it.
Is that another photo of your cat with sunglasses? Or is that a photo of your Grandma’s famous green jello recipe? Google doesn’t know. You need to tell it.

Here are 5 important steps to optimize images for the web:

1. Image sizes

Before your photo is posted to the world wide web, it’s important that it be the right file size. If your images are too large, your visitors are not going to wait around for your website to load; especially mobile visitors. Images that are small in file size are essential for fast page load times. Unless you have access to expensive image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, there are plenty of free online tools to help optimize image size; here is a great one.

2. Image Title Tag

Give your image a good title tag. The title tag is what the visitor is going to see when they highlight over the image with the cursor. Wordpress makes uploading and tagging images a piece of cake. Simply type in the title tag after uploading your image:

Example of how optimize images for the web
If you’re not using wordpress, and are updating your website like a dinosaur, the format goes like this:
<img src=”cat.jpg” title=”My Cute Cat”>

3. Image Caption

Add a caption tag to give your visitors a nice description or insight about your image. In WordPress, the caption is added directly underneath your image. Image captions are not used by Google, so only add if you want to give your visitors additional information.

Optimize your images for the web

4. Image Alt Tag

The Alt tag is especially important for SEO and Google indexing. Make a habit of always putting relevant keywords that describe your image in your alt tags. The alt tag will also be displayed in place of the image if the image link breaks and cannot be displayed. WordPress also has a handy field to add an alt tag:

how to add alt tags to optimize images for the web

<img src=”cat.jpg” title=”My Cute Cat” alt=”cute brown cat”>

5. Image File Name

When uploading any image, make sure it has a descriptive file name. A year from now when you or a visitor are searching for a particular image, which one do you think will be easier to find?
IMG_8692.jpg or cute-brown-cat.jpg?

These are 5 great ways to help optimize your website and get more traffic. Interested in more information on maintaining an effective website, sign up for our newsletter in the right sidebar.

Have any more image optimization tips? Please leave them in the comments below!

How to Pick Your Next Blog Post Topic for Financial Advisers (and other Businesses)

How to Pick Your Next Blog Post Topic for Financial Advisers (and other Businesses)

How to Pick Your Next Blog Post Topic for Financial Advisers

How to pick your next blog post topic for financial advisersWriting a blog post with any regularity is challenging.  Writing for your business needs to generate results in order to justify the investment in time and effort.  A few years ago one of the companies in my portfolio was in the news and I wrote a post about my thoughts on the potential consequences. Mainly I did it because I was sick of repeating myself to clients on the phone so I thought that writing a blog post about it would save me some time.  While it may have saved me a little time and prevented some boredom, it wasn’t until several months later that I discovered the real benefit.

The Long Tail

One afternoon while I was checking my blog stats instead of making calls, I noticed some search traffic related to the investment I had written about months before.  It wasn’t much, but it was the first time I’d noticed organic traffic for something so specific.  For months I’d get a hit or two every few days, nothing significant, but it was consistent.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d stumbled on to what’s now commonly referred to as “long tail keywords.”

By this time I’d already read Chris Anderson’s book, “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More,” but I didn’t connect the dots between selling things and search terms.  Essentially its the same thing. People are searching for something they want, be it products or information.  Similar to the way you can find almost any product on Amazon…Google does the same for information.

Why It Matters

Google has an army of brilliant engineers trying to make sure you get good information when using their search engine. If you write something that is relevant to a question someone asks in Google you stand a good chance of getting found…assuming the question they are asking is specific enough IE a long tail question.  In the example I used earlier, the particular investment I wrote about wasn’t well known, and when people started searching about it, there wasn’t much information available so my blog post was ranked high enough in the search results to get read.

Leveraging the Long Tail

I blogged sporadically over the next few years, but in 2013 I put what I learned about long tails to good use.  An investment in my portfolio was making plans to go public and the information they were providing was vague and confusing.  Recalling what I had observed a few years prior, I tried to identify questions people would be asking about the investment.  Whenever the company released new information, I’d write a blog post.  Eventually I created a special page on my website so people could easily read through all the information I’d collected.

Yreka!

At one point in my little experiment, I was ranked on the first page in the search results and I was getting over 500 page views a day.  I realize that this isn’t much traffic in the grand scheme of things, but these were people who had no idea who I was…and they were asking me for advice.  Some of my posts from that period had dozens of comments which led to multiple phone conversations with people who needed my help.

Your Turn

The next time you are trying to pick your next blog post topic, be sure to check your analytics to see if there are any search terms you can use as a starting point.  If you don’t have that kind of data (contact me), try to recall recent questions from clients.  Is there something there you can write about?

Let me know how it works for you, I’d love to hear your stories or answer any questions.

If writing blog posts isn’t your thing that’s cool too, we’d be happy to do it for you! Email us at adviser@workshed.com and we can set up a time to talk.

3 Things You Can Do To Get Your Website Noticed

3 Things You Can Do To Get Your Website Noticed

Well, you built a website or had someone build one, you added the url to your business card and now the online leads and sales are going to start rolling in, right? Well…not really. Many companies take the technological leap onto the Internet and don’t see the benefits. They get discouraged and this leads to a belief that you wasted time, money or both on a website. However, I am here to tell you that isn’t the case.

A website is successful when you take it from being two dimensional to three dimensional. You do this by giving your website a personality and realizing that you have customers out there, even if you can’t see them. Here are 3 things you can do to help get your website noticed!

#1 – Update Your Content
Many people don’t see immediate results from their website, so they neglect to keep their content relevant. Depending on the type of business you have, some ideas to keep your website up to date are text changes on your pages, adding products, updating your services, offering promotions or by creating blog posts. This not only tells people that you care about your business, it’s a great way to get noticed by the search engines as well, which helps your site move closer to the top of search results.

#2 – Promote Your Website In House
Making your website an interactive part of your business is essential to online success. Creating a steady stream of traffic will help drive your site to the top of the search engines. If you have services, have people schedule online for a small discount or offer other incentives to sign up for your service online. If you are selling goods, have sales that are website exclusive and promote this both IN store AND online so that people see that using your website can be a valuable resource and as a bonus, saves them money.

#3 – Use Social Media
On facebook, for every one person that likes your page – an average of 130 people see it, giving them a chance to like your page as well. The power of social media should not be underestimated and you can use this power for good. Think of creative ways to invite people to come to your website and conversely, offer people incentives to “like” your facebook page, follow you on twitter or connect with you on LinkedIn. By creating a greater web of contacts, you can reach more people with your promotions, your updates or…just to say hello.