|Posted on January 8, 2019 at 12:20 AM|
Happy New Year 2019!
Thank you for working with me in 2019 to get your business or nonprofit online! I just wanted to touch base with you and give you a few tips and reminders. As most of you know, I no longer work for the Newberry College Small Business Development Center (SBDC). I ran the office for nearly 9 years and while I absolutely loved my job and my clients, I did not love the long drive to Newberry or the change in administration at the SBDC. I had been wanting to quit for a while and my friend and neighbor and State Farm insurance agent, Scott Hanners, offered me a job here in Chapin and I so now I am practicing what I've been preaching for his business. I edit and maintain his website and social media accounts, and I also develop relationships and build brand awareness outside the office a few days a week. It has been great and I really enjoy working with Scott and his team. So enough about me; I just wanted to reach out to all of my 2019 clients and give you some tips to help your organization. Here they are:
1- Now that it is 2019, you will all need to go into your website and update your footer with 2019. Unless you asked me not to, I put a footer at the bottom of each page that has the current date in it. This helps your audience know that your site is updated and current. See the attached Editing Instructions and print out and save them on your computer (just in case I win the lottery and move to my own island). Please log in and try it; I sent your log in and password to you when I worked on your site, so if you don't have it, please let me know and I'll forward it to you.
2- Speaking of updates; Google loves websites that update regularly and change. I know this is a pain and many of you don't really have much info to change or have topics to BLOG about. I feel your pain now that I'm working at Scott Hanners State Farm and I maintain his website and internet presence. Even small changes monthly help with SEO; they even recommended that I make such small changes as changing auto insurance to car insurance; home or personal to residential. It sounds silly and it is - it is the SEO game. But if you are looking for free ways to increase your SEO and rank higher than the competition then you will want to do this. Any small changes will change the coding, so you don't have to do a complete makeover. Just read your verbiage; odds are you will want to change and update it anyway. Make time for this. Put it on your calendar. This is business planning and development time.
3- Speaking of SEO; Your Google listing needs to be active. Posting updates every week is very beneficial and adding pictures can be magical. Asking for and responding to Google reviews will help you tremendously. Go to Google.com/business and you can log in if you aren't already. There are other business listing, like Yelp, Manta, and Yahoo, but Google's is the most important. If you only have time to maintain one, make it Google. I have attached instructions for that as well. Please print out and save.
4- Domain & Hosting renewal. (auto-renew is your friend) Some of you have an upgraded hosting package, some of you have a free hosting package and just purchased a domain (website.com), and a few of you have extra domains through Go Daddy pointing at your site. Please know, you must keep your domains renewed for the life of your website. This is your responsibility and when you have issues with your domain and hosting, you need to log in and try to figure it out or call webs or Go Daddy first, not me. I create and design your websites, but they are yours and you have to keep the domains renewed or you will lose them. Some folks think they buy the domain or hosting once and it is theirs forever and they end up losing their domain because they didn't realize they had to renew it. I try to keep my clients informed, but I know it is a lot, on top of running your business to boot, so I'm just reminding you now to renew. Feel free to email me if you have questions about this, but know that your hosting fees and domain fees are recurring, usually every 2 years, and I recommend that you put your sites on auto renew; it will save you time and money in the long run (and anger and frustration). Trust me on this one.
5- If you haven't already, you will receive fraudulent marketing calls, letters and emails about renewing your domain or google listing. Google will never ever call you so keep in mind that those folks are straight up lying to you. Ask them to remove you from their call list. I've seen fraudulent domain renewal letters via email and also in the mail, and they look so legitimate. Webs will never ever mail you a renewal; they will however remind you to renew your website by email notification. Please don't disregard those renewals, as alot of the webs emails will end up in your spam folder. Other companies will send you "renewal notices" or "domain expiration notices" and the word offer will be in their in tiny print somewhere. If you purchased your domain through Go Daddy or through webs, then that is who you renew through. Please feel free to forward that email to me if you ever have a suspicious renewal - I’m glad to help stomp out fraud in our world! If you aren't getting emails from webs (or wix if I used that for your site), then you need to check your spam. Every two years you will renew, and it will creep up on you before you know it.
6- If I created your Google business listing, then odds are I left you your first 5 star review (and probably even logged in as you to respond to it). Please do the same for me when you have a chance. If I haven't left you a review, let me know and I will. I am happy to help all of my clients succeed! Here is a link to leave me a review: Carolina Web Design Google Review Link. (and that is how you ask for a Google review, just shameless plug it right in there)
7 - I hope that you had a great experience with my services. My goal is to create websites that you can edit and maintain yourselves. Most companies don't allow that, they charge monthly fees and control edits and that is how they make recurring income, which is not a bad business model, just different than mine. That is what makes me a little different and a lot cheaper. I figure if I can do it than you can do it! If you can't or you don't have time, you can always hire me to edit your site for you, but I want you to have that option and to feel educated and empowered.
One more tip - if you are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can now register to receive donations online via Facebook! I posted about his on my Facebook business page, so please check that out if you aren't registered on Facebook already. Also, you have until January 16th to register for Midland's Gives, an annual nonprofit fundraising source that is free! Please share that info with other nonprofits; they need money to do their good works throughout our communities. Also, I'm working with State Farm promoting a new program called Quotes for Good. If you are a nonprofit, we can give you $10 for every quote that we receive from your supporters. No strings attached, you can do with it what you want and they don't have to accept the policy, just ask for a quote. I need to meet with you first and you can email me for more info at: Nancy@ScottHanners.com.
I'm sorry if this feels like homework, I guess I miss my job at Newberry College just a teeny bit.
I hope these tips help you have a prosperous 2019 and that your business or non profit organization is blessed with an abundance of growth and joy!
With much love,