The Blog

 

15

Apr 2020

Business Survival after COVID-19

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covid 19

Consumers have been forced to change their buying behavior and that will have lasting implications for brands and businesses alike. Most of us have been forced to digitize our behavior. Some demographics, like older consumers, may have been uncomfortable with buying groceries and other goods online and this pandemic has forced them to switch.

Once they fall into this new routine and get used to the ease of home delivery, shoppers may be hesitant to return to the brick and mortar store.

Nearly 40% (study conducted by Smartcommerce) of current online grocery shoppers made their first online purchases in March. Doctors and other medical professionals have been offering camera sessions online as a way to see patients who have non-emergency situations. Experts expect such online shopping and virtual telemedicine to continue long after we return to (somewhat) normal.

As you plan for the future, you may consider the following to prepare for this new way of business.

  1. Boost your online presence and offer virtual consultations, video tutorials, and discount promotions for services.
  2. On your website, prioritize your products, and services for hire. Emphasize what will matter to your consumers. Don’t assume they know you are ready to do business. Tell them and tell them what steps you have taken to ensure their safety.
  3. Be prepared to add sanitizers to lobbies, storefronts and offices. Yes, they are out of stock, but back order now.
  4. Separate desks, tables and office waiting room chairs to keep social distancing while working. Make customers feel comfortable coming in.
  5. It’s tempting to stop spending on digital marketing and that can have a negative impact. But you do have to change the way you market. Promote your virtual offerings and the steps you are taking to protect them and your staff.
  6. Teachers have been forced to learn new ways of teaching. If you offer any kind of professional instruction, such as music lessons, consider adding the options of virtual classes as well.

Consumers will want to work with companies that focus on customer and employee safety and it’s important that you let your customers know you are ready.

For specific ideas on how to enhance your virtual services or add to your website, contact me at andrea@wagnerwebdesigns.com

For digital marketing ideas, contact Anthony@adedgemarketing.com

These consultations are free (and offered by phone or video!)

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26

Mar 2020

Working through the Corona Crisis

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#coronavirus #workingthrucorona

coronavirus

Recently a colleague and friend asked my opinion on posting a notice to market his cemetery/ chapel services this month. I was horrified and though it was in poor taste and seeing this ad would offend anyone reading it.  We are depressed enough—preparing for death is not an uplifting topic but it is downright obnoxious in our current climate.

It got me thinking though; I am a web designer and one of my services is continually updating websites.
I have been inundated with update requests since this pandemic started, cancelling events, closing down restaurants, posting  extreme measures taken by many businesses. It is an important way to communicate with their clients.

I feel a tinge of guilt in that I am profiting off of these businesses needing to pay me to post notices that they are closing their doors.  (Why shouldn’t preparing for death attempt to profit from this pandemic?)   After all, I am performing a service, as I have always done, yet this somehow feels like I am taking advantage of a bad situation. But, on the other hand, I have been responsive in posting these updates, performing a valuable service, and I have to pay rent and eat too.

There are companies out there taking advantage in a positive way: selling hand sanitizer, website applications that allow for video conferencing, cleaning services that will disinfect, delivery services, etc.

I also hear stories of companies taking advantage by price gouging, or promoting products that promise to protect.

I’ve come to this conclusion: I am grateful to be in an industry where my services are needed through good times and bad. I’m grateful to be able to help my clients inform their clients and keep communication open for them to continue to conduct business. I should expect to get paid for my time and expertise in offering this timely service but I am discounting my normal rates to make this happen.

I welcome your thoughts and would love to hear what you have experienced in offering services during this time.

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20

Nov 2019

Living in a Techy World and I’m not a Technical girl

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Reflections on being over 50 in Marketing.

I’ve been in marketing and design for over 25 years. I started out with a drawing table, having mastered all the art skills by hand to create graphics what is now accomplished in a fraction of the time on a computer. After literally decades of new technologies emerging in my industry, I was forced to learn, adapt and master many of them. Based on my involvement working on many projects, with many people of all ages, here is what I take away from these experiences.

All of us, no matter our ages, face the challenges of keeping up with technology in marketing, media, and culture. It is a challenge to keep skills sharp and relevant. It is not necessarily more  daunting for the over 50 crowd.  I’ve worked with clients who dismiss the idea even trying to understand technology, claiming they are too old to adapt as they print out pages and markup edits by hand. It’s not like thinning hairlines, or wrinkles that you have no control over. You need to keep an open mind and be willing to try. You have to embrace and take pleasure in learning new things.

We live and work in an environment that we will absorb a lot just by being present and participating. Getting older gives me an advantage over a newly staffed web designer who has no clue how his/her webdesigns may eventually turn into profit for that company. Having experience allows me handle problems or tackle certain challenges because I’ve seen them before. I may not have grown up with Instagram, or Facebook but I understand the way it is used in marketing and how it can grow your business.

New technologies appear, disappear and morph so quickly that everyone starts at a disadvantage. To keep up. requires effort, curiosity and ambition, no matter your age.

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17

Jun 2019

Is Your website ADA Compliant?

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ada compliance
Title III of the ADA has been interpreted by US courts to apply to websites since January 2018.
For  websites to be ADA compliant, they need to be accessible.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are organized around four principles:

Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust

Perceivable means that the information and content is presented and available to everyone, including with persons with disabilities.
Operable means that the website interface does not require interaction that persons with disabilities cannot perform.
Understandable means that both the information and operation of the user interface must be readily understandable to everyone (make everything simple, provide clear instructions).
Robust means that your website is accessible through a wide variety of user agents and technologies such as various screen readers and browsers.
Failing to comply with the ADA means your business is susceptible to lawsuits, and it’s common for attorneys to seek out non-compliant businesses both in the physical and digital space.
The most likely industries impacted are the following:
  • Restaurants
  • Property Management
  • Real Estate
  • Healthcare
  • Finance
  • Government sites
Sites that we have developed in the last 3 years are MOSTLY compliant. But to be sure, you can request a site scan and fix as it is your responsibility.

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07

May 2019

Web Hosting & Security

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It’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the hackers and malware that persists on the internet these days.

If any of you watched this episode of 60 minutes , you are aware of the enormous cost of ransomware attacks. The robots that look for vulnerabilities on computers are also looking to break into websites to cause  redirects, by adding malware and potentially dangerous viruses.

Websites can be vulnerable because of non-updated versions of WordPress plugins, themes, weak passwords and/or compromised servers.

We take as many precautions for our hosting customers by continuing to offer the latest site-lock security, backups and secure site locks (SSL). If you are not taking advantage of these products, please contact us.

Google’s initiative on creating more secure environments lead them to add “not secure” to Chrome browsers.  Now Ad word campaigns are being effected if running without the SSL lock. Please let us know if you do not have a secure site.

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