website challenges

Is Maintaining Your Website A Challenge? Follow These Key Steps

After weeks of hard work, your website is finally up an running. And, it’s a beauty! The design is flawless, the navigation is intuitive, and every element is meant to provide a great user experience. Time to sit back and relax, right?

Not so fast! If you want users to enjoy navigating your website and come back, then you need to think about regularly maintaining your website.

Here’s a plan to make this task easy.

Backup Your Website Regularly

Some experts recommend backing up your website on a daily basis. That’s how you can ensure your site is safe from any harm that may come your way. You can use various tools and schedule daily backups so that you won’t have to worry about this task. 

Make Sure Your Website Is Malware Free

Over 10.50 billion malware attacks were blocked in 2018, the highest number ever recorded. And, as reports show, the trend is increasing. Making sure your website is protected should be a top priority for any webmaster.

Ensure Your Themes and Plugins Are Updated

Not only will out of date themes and plugins slow down your site and affect user experience, but it can also make you vulnerable to attacks. A few minutes is all it takes to make sure your website is updated.

Check Your Website across Different Browsers

If you want to ensure a pleasant user experience, then you need to make sure that your website loads and works perfectly regardless of the browsers or devices visitors are using. Make it a habit of testing your website regularly. 

Managing your website can feel like a tedious task. If you need help maintaining your website or establishing a strong digital presence, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will review your current needs and plan accordingly. 

company culture

The Art Of Company Culture: How To Build It & How Easy It Is To Destroy It

A company’s culture is very much its identity. Many seem to believe that company culture is something created in time, and there’s no way to know how it will take form at the very beginning.

Except, it’s not exactly like that.

MAYO Designs, for instance, started as a one-woman show and continued in this fashion for nearly 15 years. Without a consistent culture, it would have been very difficult to grow the company to where it is today: a team of 7 people who work together to create amazing results.

Our culture existed from the very beginning, and it only expanded with time. We’ve helped a lot of other businesses refine theirs, while expanding on this to attract their target customers.

Building a Company Culture

Every company already has some form of culture, albeit it may not be integrated into all the stages of communications. So it’s not so much building the culture that’s the issue, but more identifying some key aspects of it, and growing it into something great that you can share with your audience.

Here are some tips:

Define the “what, ” “why,” and “how”

  • All businesses have a purpose (what), values (why), and plans (how), but the key to growing a company culture is to identify them, write them down, and see if they are truly reflective of the business culture.

Identify the problems, and fix them

  • Company culture also has a role of optimizing the processes that take place inside a business, because the employers know how things should be done or how some issues are resolved. When a process is shaky, one of the first things to consider is how people in a team communicate.

Hire the right people

  • The right people aren’t just those with the technical skills for a particular position; they are the people who fit your office culture or, even better, can improve it. For instance, if you’re moving to a green office, it would be great to hire people with an eco-friendly mindset. Of course, that’s not the only basis to hire someone on, but it is important for your office culture to build a team of people who share your company beliefs and values.

Company Culture is Easy to Kill

One can spend years cultivating a company culture, but it’s necessary to give just as much thought to maintain it. It’s a very volatile thing, and some practices can demolish it quickly:

  • Creating a hostile environment where people feel they can’t share their opinions
  • Nepotism or playing favorites
  • Encouraging competition instead of collaboration
  • Dividing employees
  • Letting bad behavior slide

It’s difficult to say a company operates on a particular set of principles and expect employees to follow them when the management does not reinforce them. Or worse, when they break them.

Define Your Company Culture Now!

At MAYO Designs, we can help you define and develop your company culture, and show you how to leverage them in the way you communicate with the outside world.

Contact us today and let’s redefine your company culture to attract great employees and customers!

customer discovery

How We Onboard Our Clients: The True Discovery Process

Name an industry in which businesses don’t jump at the chance to work with a new client. This is not easy to find. Before taking on these new clients, however, it is critical to ensure you understand the end goals of the project at hand and the true needs and values of who you will be working with. Companies often make the mistake of seeing an opportunity for revenue, and jumping into a project without truly understanding who the client is and why they reached out for help.

Starting on a project without fully grasping the goals of the client can often lead to subpar results. There are many ways to get around this issue. Our solution is called Client Discovery: a streamlined client on-boarding process.

Since taking on the process of Discovery, we have not only been able to help our clients better understand their place in the market, but we’ve been able to produce more efficient results that fit their needs.

For years, we would often make the mistake of seeing the price tag and the opportunity of a new client and jump at the chance to get to work. More often than not, businesses that do this, take on more projects than their bandwidth can hold. This may result in working with clients that actually aren’t in their niche, and delivering work that could be better if they had the time to really focus. With Client Discovery, this has completely changed.

We dig deep into the goals of who we’re working with, their company values, competitors, target market and the process which draws people to become valuable customers. This paves the way for:

  • Finished products far exceeding what our customers had in mind
  • Setting the tone early to transparently manage expectations for all clients
  • Creating strong relationships right out the gate
  • Tailoring/focusing our work to our customers strengths and differentiators

Here’s how our process works:

  • Qualification
    • Start with our own research to understand business at a high level
    • Hop on a 15 minute phone call with client to allow us to understand if we are a good fit for each other
  • Discovery
    • Meet with leadership team to set a clear strategy and fully grasp the business ethos:
      • Learn about goals and sales process
      • Gather a quick list of competitors
      • Understand their means of communication
      • Learn about their customers (or as we call it, avatar)
        • Target
        • Demographics
        • Problems
        • Behaviors
        • Size and geography
        • Industry associations
      • Dig deep into their strategies and tactics:
        • Past and present digital campaigns
        • Past and present traditional marketing efforts
      • Internally conduct in depth research on the market, industry, and competition and organize all findings into our presentation document
      • Solution and proposal presentation
        • Review our discovery findings
        • Discuss any immediate questions, comments, or concerns
        • Review timelines
      • Allow for client to review all documents that were discussed in the proposal presentation on their own time, and get back to us with any questions, comments or concerns
      • Once approved from the client, we then move into the SOW and contract negotiations

Instead of rushing into a project, we take the time to learn about who we’re going into business with. Reach out to us and we’ll walk you through the true discovery process to guarantee your results are exactly what a new client is looking for.

storytelling benefits seo

Why Storytelling Is Good For SEO

Our last article outlined how storytelling is a great way to connect with your audience. In this article, we’ll cover how storytelling benefits Search Engine Optimization. When utilized correctly, storytelling is an excellent vehicle for improving your search rankings on Google.

Meet Joseph. Joseph had a business blog that he had been diligently updating for months with regular posts. But he wasn’t getting much traffic and was disappointed with the amount of effort he put in with his blog versus the results he was getting. Why were other bloggers in his niche getting so many visitors? Joseph wondered. He reached out to one to get the scoop.

This successful blogger told Joseph about SEO basics and how storytelling benefits SEO. Joseph learned that he should use the words and phrases that his target customer was using to find the answers he had online. Joseph learned that his posts needed to include the words he wanted his audience to use to find him-words they were already typing into the search bar.

So, Joseph continued to write engaging stories, posting them regularly to his blog. But this time, he was strategic about it, including specific keywords into his stories to boost his SEO rankings and further engage his audience. Soon, he started to see the traffic numbers he wanted, and his business boomed.

SEO is easy to overlook when you’re trying to tell your brand story. Your stories need to include the words and phrases that your customers are using to search online. These are the words you want Google to rank your web pages for.

Why are stories an excellent way to increase your SEO?

Storytelling benefits SEO in several key ways. An essential part of SEO is using the right keywords/keyword phrases, so it’s recommended that you sprinkle them throughout your story. Stories are also engaging pieces of content and will keep your readers on your pages for longer, which Google likes to see. And if people like your posts, they are also more likely to share them on social media, which brings even more traffic and attention to your site, which in turn increases your SEO ranking.

Our digital marketers are experienced in crafting engaging, brand stories for our customers that enhance their SEO rankings. Incase you missed our last post about how to effectively use your story for different marketing channels, make sure to check it out. Contact us today to get your story told the right way, to the right people.

storytelling in marketing

Tips For Using Great Storytelling In Marketing

At MAYO Designs, one of the first things we do when we onboard a new client is dig into who their target market is. It’s critical for the future success of your marketing efforts that your brand messaging is on-point and resonates profoundly with your ideal customer’s needs, wants, and desires.

But what exactly do we do with that information once we have it? To optimize your marketing plans and strategies, we utilize the art of great and consistent storytelling in different aspects of your business. Whether it’s a conversation with a customer, your website’s About Us page, social media posts, or a pitch in front of investors, we want to help guide you to making sure you get the right story across. Below, we’ll cover our top tips for great storytelling, and why it’s so critical to your marketing success.

What are some of the biggest issues when it comes to telling great stories for marketing?

For starters, it’s incredibly challenging to capture people’s attention. There are so many different channels competing for an ever-dwindling supply of consumer attention spans. To stand out in today’s crowded business world, it’s imperative that marketers get smarter, savvier, and more personalized with their messaging.

The thing is, customers want to purchase from brands that align with their values. For most companies, communicating their values in a way that most resonates with their ideal customer isn’t easy, and it can be time-consuming to articulate the right story for the right people. But these challenges aren’t impossible to overcome, and they don’t negate the value of great storytelling in marketing, either.

Solution #1: Authenticity

This comes back to the insane amount of competition from other brands and marketers for your customers attention. Customers crave authenticity from brands. They want to see a human side to your company, and the unique personality behind it. We recommend you stay truthful and brave enough to talk about your failures and how you’ve overcome them. Ensure the messaging is consistent with how you started, where you are currently, and your plans for the future.

Solution #2: Understanding

Great stories all have one thing in common–the ability to empathize with the characters. In this case, the person you want to empathize with is your reader or ideal customer. Start viewing them as a single, unique person. Craft your messaging around real stories that appeal to their situations so that they can see themselves in you and your story.

Solution #3: Customer Stories

Many consumers choose to buy a product/service because it was recommended to them. User-generated stories and testimonials are ideal for showcasing how your products or services have helped real people.

Solution #4: Think Outside the Box

Again, you’re competing with strong businesses for your ideal customer’s attention, time, and money. Try the unexpected or a different channel for getting your story in front of targeted leads–social media, your website, guest posts, and podcasts are just a few examples.

Your story will act as a differentiator for your company. We want to help you use it consistently in everything you do: from the events you attend, how you optimize your website, and the conversations you have with coworkers, customers, and your network.

All of our customers who follow these tips for storytelling in marketing have been able to narrow down their positioning, discover their exact target market, and direct their customers toward what they want to hear.

Every company deserves to have the RIGHT story told. Reach out to us today to see what our storytelling techniques can do for you. Stay tuned for our next article, “Why Storytelling is Great for SEO.”

Why You Should Choose WordPress For Your Website

Why should you choose WordPress for your website instead of another platform like Wix or SquareSpace? We’ve mapped out the benefits that WordPress has to offer.

1 – Easy to use

WordPress is extremely user-friendly. When it comes to posting content, this platform allows for interactive and unique blog posts to be created without having to touch a single line of code. Vital to many SEO strategies, demonstrating attractive content with the ability to attach keywords lets any website shine in the eyes of the consumer. For the majority of the population that isn’t tech-savvy, WordPress is a great solution. This platform allows for even the most inexperienced website managers to introduce new themes and plugins, consistently manage content and imagery, take advantage of built-in security measures, and attach different types of media to their company websites.

2 – High versatility

WordPress can build almost any website. From the most basic online webpages, to fully-interactive eCommerce stores, WordPress can be customized and modified for projects of just about any size.

3 – Low costs

The WordPress platform is free. All you have to pay for is your own hosting service, and a domain name. Beyond that, there are no other ongoing costs, making WordPress very cost-effective.

4 – You have complete control over your website

WordPress is not proprietary. It’s open source, meaning you own all of the data and information on your website. You have complete control–in contrast to some other companies like SquareSpace and Wix, which use proprietary platforms.

5 – It’s easy to scale

Does your company website need more bandwidth? With WordPress, scaling to a larger hosting provider is easy. Just find the provider you want to use, migrate your website, and you’re done–and ready to handle even more web traffic.

Contact us for a free website assessment!

If you’re currently using Wix or SquareSpace and are unsure if it’s the right solution for you, we’d love to show you how WordPress might enhance your brand image and user activity. See what we can do for you today by contacting us for a free website assessment.

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing–What’s The Difference?

If you’re caught up with today’s ever-changing business landscape, surely you have heard the terms inbound and outbound marketing. If you’re not quite sure what the two terms actually refer to, here’s a look at the difference between inbound and outbound marketing and how they work.

Outbound marketing and how it works

Like its name suggests, outbound marketing works by sending messages out to the world, hoping to hook the right audience and get a reasonable ROI in a timely manner. This is also referred to as traditional marketing. Advertising (TV, radio, print), seminars, cold calls, direct mail and emails are all considered to be traditional forms of marketing because the company is starting the initial conversation.

More often than not, younger companies focus primarily on outbound marketing. Their budgets are typically limited, allocating fewer resources to send only enough messages to bring back the client base they need to survive. In the case of a saturated market, businesses compete in the race for who can create a more compelling outbound message to capture the small group of customers looking to buy.

Outbound marketing is the more attractive option when individuals are searching for a straightforward approach. It takes a lot of effort to keep up with an outbound strategy, but it allows the company to be in complete control of the message they are getting across and the customer they are trying to reach.

Now that you know about traditional marketing, what’s the alternative?

Inbound marketing

It’s actually very simple. Inbound marketing lets the customer come to you. Through your business posting exceptional content, publicizing great events, honing in on effective SEO and social media strategies and more, inbound allows for customers to find you easily, and engage once they do.

As potential customers browse the internet when making their buying decisions, inbound marketing is an effective way to convert google searches into customers.

Inbound marketing works by optimizing your online presence to be easily found by the right people. Instead of the business taking the time to search for their clients in a large pool of people, wouldn’t it be more efficient to have them search for you? The larger your online presence is, the more brand awareness your company has. The more brand awareness your company has, the easier it is for you to be found by potential customers, allowing your message to resonate with them as they search for their answers.

By creating valuable content that stands out in your industry and personalizing the user experience to address your customers’ needs, you are putting your company on a shortlist of preferred providers. Inbound strategies achieve cost-efficient results that work in the long-run and eventually sustain themselves. Patience is a virtue with inbound marketing, as it can take a long time to gain the recognition that these strategies hope for. When happy customers leave good reviews for you, this not only adds to your inbound marketing material, but it creates a free word of mouth marketing campaign for you.

Inbound vs outbound marketing

Brands starting out typically rely on outbound marketing to allow for a steady customer base. Inbound marketing strategies take a lot of time and effort to gather impressive results, but can also be effective in reaching the right audience. Both strategies are proven to bring forth results, working as organic and stable ways of pulling customers toward you and making them loyal to your brand. Many clients we are lucky enough to work with at MAYO Designs have utilized both outbound and inbound tactics to deliver quantifiable results.

Contact us to learn which type of marketing would be most efficient for your brand.

Website Design

5 Reasons Companies Should Invest In Updating Their Website Design

Many companies assume that high quality service offerings will be enough to help them find a steady customer base. This is not always the case – particularly if you have a poorly designed website. Pairing a great product with a strong web presence can be the differentiator your brand needs to beat out its competitors.

It’s important for any brand to keep their biggest selling platform (their website) up to date. At MAYO Designs, we’ve been working with sustainable businesses for 20 years to help them build their online presence. This month, we had one of our customers exclaim to us how thrilled they are with the positive effects of their new website design. Reviving your website every 2 years can ensure that you keep your brand ahead of the industry norms and in the minds of potential customers.

Why is updating your website design so important? Let’s take a look at 5 main reasons:

  1. Stay Ahead Of The Competition

Even when your service offerings are more suitable for a prospective client, they may choose another company if their website is easier to navigate, understand, and use.

If you invest in your website design, you can ensure that you’ll always be on the cutting edge with new web technologies and updated company information.

  1. Convey Your Brand With Updated Imagery And Portfolio

Consumers and businesses need to know they can trust the brands they’re making these purchases from. Using high-quality imagery and providing a portfolio of project involvement is a great way to demonstrate this trust. Keeping an updated portfolio ensures customers will be able to browse recent projects, and see the impact your company consistently delivers.

  1. Captivating Content Aimed At Customer Pain Points

Pain points are the specific problems that consumers are seeking solutions for. As a business in any industry, you want your messaging to speak directly to how you can solve those issues, easing the stress of your potential customer. In every form of your digital presence, you should position yourself with consistent content addressing these main pain points.

  1. Better SEO And Mobile Support

Better Search Engine Optimization makes it easier for your organization to be discovered on a google search, and better mobile support enhances the user experience when using a cell phone or a tablet. This is essential, as mobile traffic made up more than 52.2% of all web traffic in 2018 (statista).

  1. Simple Interactions Lead To Higher Lead Conversion

The easier it is for visitors to navigate your site and schedule an appointment, the more likely you are to turn them into a qualified lead. Updating your website design can help you maximize your conversion rate.

Contact Us Now For More Information!

If you’d like to learn more about a potential website redesign project, drop us a line at cmayo@mayodesigns.com. We have the expertise in place to deliver you the high quality website your brand deserves. Let’s discuss this subject in further detail.

Which Social Media Platform Is Right For Your Business?

As mentioned in our previous article (Tips To Creating A Digital Content Strategy), sharing content is critical in any organization that is trying to expand their brand presence. No matter the industry, social media platforms have become a key factor in exposing your values and message to target audiences. In order to share your content effectively, some research will need to be conducted to ensure you have the necessary background information about your target audience’s habits.

Here Are The Types Of Things You’ll Want To Find Out About Your Target Customer:

  • What social media platforms are they active on?
  • What are their interests?
  • What peaks their attention?
  • What are the problems they face that your product/service can solve?

In Addition, Your Competitor’s Outreach Efforts Should Be Analyzed:

  • Which social media networks are they active on? (you will want to have a presence wherever they have a presence)
  • What are they doing right/what’s working for them?
  • Where can they improve? This may be an area that you excel in!
  • What does your organization have that your competition isn’t capitalizing on?

After you’ve done research on your target audience and competition, you probably have a good understanding of the social media platforms you should have a presence on. Before you dive right in, it’s important to have some knowledge on each platform. You’ll learn that some social media platforms are more beneficial for certain industries – let’s find out which ones are right for you and your business style.

Here Are Some General Rules Of Thumb For Common Platforms:

Facebook

  • Generally a very active social media platform – this may require frequent posts
  • Platform often used for friends/family to stay connected
  • A lot of referrals and Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) happen here
  • Easiest network to target demographics and geographics through ad campaigns and various groups
  • You can share everything from photos, text, to videos
  • Provides insight into the analytics of your business Facebook page

Instagram

  • Pictures and videos galore allowing for organizations to show their brand in creative way
  • Platform almost entirely used through mobile devices
  • Common to utilize hashtags, locations, and tagging others for expanded reach
  • You don’t have the capability to hyperlink any individual post which can make a viewers path to your website somewhat difficult
  • Ads are commonly placed here that target specific demographics

Pinterest

  • This network is Image-based and idea-driven with ability to browse, post and discover about new interests
  • People use this platform for inspiration for experiences, products & tutorials
  • Platform known for main industries of fashion, exercise, food, and travel posts
  • Limited in volume of users, but user engagement rates are high

Youtube

  • Serves the opportunity to create engaging videos
  • Tells quick, memorable stories that put aside the noise to both reach and persuade your audience
  • Great platform for many types of videos (How-to’s, company overviews, product or service overviews, testimonials, etc.)

Twitter

  • Platform is generally news-oriented
  • Hashtags, tagging others, and sharing links are are very common here to spread reach throughout industries
  • Limited characters per post, constraining accounts to short bursts of information
  • Easy to connect with others through retweets, favorites, and direct messaging

LinkedIn

  • Business-oriented social media network focusing on expanding influence in industry
  • Platform is primarily focused on B2B outreach
  • Professional place to network for yourself of your business
  • Serves as an effective place to search for jobs

These platforms have taken over the business world. Luckily, MAYO Designs is proficient in creating social media accounts and managing content strategies to fit the needs of any business. Check out what we have done with the New England Patriots Alumni Club’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Contact Us today to see what we can do for you.

Tips To Creating A Digital Content Strategy

Content creation is essential to the growth of your business. Many companies think that a good content strategy is one that directly sells a product or service. In fact, a good content strategy is one that demonstrates who you are and what you can bring to the table in your industry. The intent of your content should be to inform and educate your target audience on how you can help solve the problems they’re having.

Content not only helps consumers understand the values of an organization, it also sets expectations of the brands they interact with. When someone is in the buying decision process, chances are they will research different brands before making their final decision. Effective content marketing allows for this research to be easy, enabling consumers to connect with your company right off the bat without having to do too much digging.

Videos, blogs, case studies, and social media posts are all considered to be forms of content marketing. The reason these have become so valuable is because consumers appreciate the different forms – while one might prefer to read a blog article, another might prefer to watch a video. Content marketing coveys a demonstration of who you are and what your organization cares about in attempt to resonate with your target customer.

Now that you know what content marketing consists of, you may now be wondering how to actually build a successful digital content strategy. Don’t worry, we’re here to help:

Step 1) Define Your Goal

  • Of course the end goal is to engage consumers enough so they eventually want to buy from you; however, we’re not suggesting you create content solely to promote your offerings. We’re suggesting you create content that stimulates interest in your product/service. In order to do this:
    • We want you to educate, inform, inspire and entertain your audience.
    • Focus on content that poses a problem that your product/service solves, that you know your audience has. What are you there for? Delivering them the solution!
    • It helps to show consumers that you’re a thought leader in your industry.

Step 2) Identify Which Type Of Content Pieces You’d Like To Get In The Habit Of Creating

  • This can be a gradual process, with room for growth and improvement over time.
    • Consider “How-to” guides, newsletters, “10 ways to”, FAQ’s, checklists, “common mistakes with”, etc.
    • Look deeper into the customers you want to reach. Try to find what resonates with them the most, and highlight this.
    • Keep in mind all of the ways you can display this content:
      • Blog articles
      • Ebooks
      • Videos
      • Testimonials
      • Company announcements
      • Infographics

Step 3) Create The Content

  • Who’s creating the content? Will this role be internal? Maybe a 3rd party writer?
    • Outline a list of topics & create content ahead of time so you’re not rushing when the time comes to post online.
      • Follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of your posts should be educational, informative or entertaining. 20% should be sales or self-promotion.

Step 4) Manage Your Strategy

  • Who’s managing it? You can use a Content Management System – there are platforms for this.
    • Create a content calendar – get into a cadence of posting and stick to it! Consistency is key.

Step 5) Share, Share, Share!

  • Once your content strategy is defined and outlined, it’s time to start utilizing social media so you can get your message out there…

How do you decide which social media platforms are right for you? Check out our next article.

Are you considering Content Marketing? We can assist you in outlining a content strategy that works best for your brand. Contact us today or give us a call at 603-817-1575.