Author: Arden

What Type of Website Fits Your Needs?

What Kind of Website Do You Need?

Find Out Which Type of Website You Need to Succeed

Just as there are many types of apples, there are also many types of websites. Websites have evolved since their first launch in 1991 as many different technologies, based on people’s changing needs, came about with time. Now, there are many different types of websites that help both individuals and businesses thrive in specific ways. Discover the different types of websites below and find out which one is best for you and your needs.

Personal

Personal websites can range in different capacities but often end up being a hub for a portfolio or as a way to share personal information. Whether the person’s website gives details for the time and place of an upcoming event or hosts a resume for someone looking for employment, personal websites are usually created for a single event or purpose. Because personal websites are built for a single event, they are usually not optimized for search in any way, and they really don’t need to be. A personal website can be spotted by its URL as it usually involves a personal name or event such as ashleyandchriswedding.com.

BlogPerson adding a blog to their blog type of website

A blog website is created for the sole purpose of housing a blog. The website managers regularly add content to this type of website in a blog format as a way to distribute information to their audience, usually on a set schedule. A blog website usually has easily shareable content and social media buttons for users as a way to connect with a target audience. Blog websites usually build organic SEO over time due to the nature of the content.

Business

A business website is a tool that companies use to further their marketing efforts and generate sale leads. The goal of a business website is to be an extension of a company and provide information that sells services or products in a way that gets a user to take action. Business websites are branded toward the company and incorporate organic SEO and paid search tactics to get found online. Most companies have business websites as they are essential in generating sales in today’s online world.

Fundraising

This type of website is used for charity work or fundraising. Fundraising websites have certain aspects built in such as ways to donate or specific company information for tax credit purposes. Fundraising websites are normally geared toward a specific cause or organization and provide a lot of detailed information. Often times, they are not optimized for search or are only optimized specifically for the name of the charity or fundraiser. These types of websites are popular for non-profit organizations.

E-commerceMobile E-commerce website on phone

E-commerce websites are popular for companies that want to sell their products globally or nationwide. This type of website has the most functionality built in as it must contain products, information, sorting capabilities, payment processing systems, shipment processes, and more. E-commerce websites are robust in SEO and typically compete heavily on specific words in an attempt to reach their audience.

No matter what kind of website you need, the experts at Arden Logic can help build you a functional and well-designed website. From business websites to blogging websites and even blog creation, we can help you get the perfect website for your needs.

Arden Logic Improves Your Website’s Usability

How We Improve Your Website's Usability

Arden Logic Improves Your Website’s Usability by Optimizing Your Site

Websites are a must-have advertising piece for companies of all sizes. They provide your customers with so much information and go a long way in officializing your business overall. With so many options in getting a website for your company, however, it can be easy to get one that is only “good enough.” You’ve experienced these types of website yourself. They are frustrating because they’re slow or confusing and eventually you click out of them, and once you do, you know that you will never return. Your customers are doing the same thing to the website you threw together one evening in the hopes that just having a site online would be good enough.

Don’t push away your customers with a bad website. Instead, get one that works seamlessly from a web company that specializes in building professional websites like Arden Logic. The experts at Arden Logic know how to improve your website’s usability so customers stay on your site and shop longer.

SafetyBetter Website Usability with safety features

Nobody wants to risk their personal and financial information on a website that is not secure. Visiting a website that does not have the proper security features means that a customer’s data is at risk of being hacked. On top of putting your customers at risk, Google now expects businesses to secure their websites and penalizes those who don’t by notifying users with a “not secure” label in the address bar next to the company URL.

As a professional website company, Arden Logic ensures every website we build uses an SSL or Secure Socket Layer. An SSL encrypts every connection between the browser and web server so any shared information is secure. With a secure connection, your customers are much more likely to use your website on a regular basis.

Speed

It’s no longer 1999 when you had to wait 5 minutes for your dial-up connection to download half of a webpage. People don’t have the patience to wait for websites to load anymore- they want information, and they want it instantly. In fact, Google reports that 53 percent of people will back out of your website if it doesn’t load in under three seconds. That’s a ton of customers leaving your website for the simple reason of slow loading times.

At Arden Logic, we make your website so incredibly fast, customers won’t have time to think of anything except why they clicked on your website in the first place. With picture compression and optimizing code, we ensure your website loads quickly so your customers stay put on your site.

Functionality

Website usability is more than just safety and speed though. Usability also includes convenience for the user. You always want to make things easier for the people visiting your site. They need to be able to get to the items or information that they want quickly and without much thought. In other words, don’t make it difficult for your customers to get what they want.

We make a point to increase the functionality of your site, so your users think your website is the best one they’ve ever visited. From click-to-call buttons that make contacting your business ten times easier to embedded customer reviews so site visitors know how amazing your products are without any additional research, we ensure your website gives your customers the best experience possible.

DesignDesigners creating a website for functionality

Have you ever been to a website and wondered why on Earth they had things placed where they were? Or maybe you’ve visited a site that you just thought looked downright awful. It’s no surprise that people tend to like websites that are designed well. Not only do designed sites look good but they are also laid out for better usability. Where certain features are placed on a website makes a huge difference in user experience. For example, people expect a company’s phone number to be located at the top right of a website and not just on the contact page.

Our professional designers know the best practices for flawless aesthetic and website usability.  We design and build your site for ease of navigation so your users have a great experience on your site and enjoy exploring every page. It’s just one more aspect we put into every site so your customers shop with you more often.

Don’t settle for a website that is just “good enough.” A website that isn’t built correctly can actually do more harm than good as it may frustrate your customers and push them to your competitors. When it comes to getting your company a website, trust the professionals at Arden Logic to build you a good-looking and functional website.

5 Advertising Pieces A Small Company Needs

5 Advertising Pieces a small company needs

Affordable Advertising for Your Small Business

 

Many forms of marketing can be pricey such as commercials, billboards, and radio spots. Without a big budget on hand, many small businesses need to be savvy when it comes to advertising their company. There are several ways small businesses can advertise their business, however, without breaking the bank. When it comes to letting your customers know you exist without a big advertising budget, consider these five affordable advertising methods.

 

  1. Branded Signage

Visibility is essential in letting your customers know about your business and what you offer. While it may seem obvious, simply getting your company’s name in front of your customers is a good way to bring them in through your front door. Door signs, banners, flyers, and other forms of signage are much more cost-effective forms of advertising than billboards and offer the same type of advertising.

 

Mark your building with a sign with your company name. Establish a banner with your company’s services at your local fair or convention. Hand out flyers at a local networking night or around town. You can easily spread the word about your business without investing thousands to do so with some branded signage.

 

  1. Business cards

Business cards are another item you can hand to people as a leave behind so that they can reference it at a later time. These small and compact reminders of your company’s existence can be powerful as they give your customer all the important information about your business. The company name, your name, and the contact information of the business is all displayed neatly and accessibly on a card that will fit perfectly in a pocket, wallet, or purse.

 

Business cards are a cheap way to network with people you have conversations with and remind them about your business even when you aren’t talking to them.

 

  1. Websites are affordable advertising for small businesses Website

If you want advertising that works for you 24/7, is easy to maintain and is packed with information about your company, then look no further than a website. Websites are perfect advertising options for small businesses and are essential for any company that wants to look professional, credible, and real.

 

With affordable options from advertising companies such as Arden Logic, websites are the perfect advertising tool to constantly feed your customers the information about your business they are actively looking for online.

 

  1. Reviews and Recommendations

Your customers can be your biggest advocates and your own personal salespeople when given the opportunity. As many customers look for reviews on company products and services before purchasing, getting your customers to review you online is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to bring in more customers. Those who are on the fence about your company or who didn’t even know you existed previously can be swayed after reading several positive reviews about others’ experiences with your business.

 

You can ask each customer in person to review you online, and for extra help in gaining reviews and managing them, you can look into a review management system such as Kydos. Kydos makes it a lot easier to gain reviews by connecting with your customers at key times in the buying process.

 

  1. Digital PromotionDigital Advertising like social media is affordable advertising

Another affordable option for advertising is digital promotion through social media and AdWords PPC campaigns. Social media and PPC campaigns allow you to target an audience that is most likely to support your business. Best of all, with social media and AdWords, you can control your budget and how much you want to spend on advertising. Whether you want to boost a post for $10 on Facebook or you want to target your audience on Google for several hundred, you can control your advertising cost.

 

Advertising as a small business doesn’t have to break the bank when you use advertising methods that are meant for people on a budget. For affordable advertising such as the above options and more, contact Arden Logic. As an advertising business that works exclusively for small businesses, we are experts in growing your company on a budget.

10 Reasons Why Your Startup Needs a Website

10 Reasons Your Startup Needs a Website

Does Your Startup Business Need a Website? These 10 Benefits Say Yes.

Starting your business is an awesome accomplishment that can only be topped by a few other moments in life. You put blood, sweat, and tears into opening your doors and welcoming customers on day one and nothing is quite as satisfying as helping that first guest. While your physical storefront may seem like the most important aspect of your new startup, your digital storefront is also important to consider. Having a website for your company has many benefits and can make a huge difference in the success of your startup business. Here are 10 benefits and reasons your startup needs a website.

 

  1. Credibility BoostA website gives your startup credibility

As a new business, you need all the credibility you can get. Customers who aren’t sure what you are about or if you’re a trustworthy establishment look for hints of your company’s authenticity. A professional website can give them that assurance quickly an easily.

 

  1. Look Professional

Understandably, startup businesses are often on a tight budget, resulting in many do-it-yourself attempts. From hands-on construction projects to self-branding, startups will do a lot to save money. A professional website, however, can help in making your company look professional and respectable. Aesthetic goes a long way in today’s world.

 

  1. Gain More Traction

A website is a great way to gain traction and more customers who are shopping for what you are providing online versus walking near your company’s location. A website that is optimized for what you sell and what your customers are shopping for will notify them of your business’s existence and bring them one step closer to walking through your door.

 

  1. Reduce Confusion Around Your Brand

Many startups suffer from a mix and match appearance because the owners are focused on more important aspects. Unfortunately, that leaves your business looking less than cohesive. A branded website can help you define your company’s look and tone and keep it consistent for your customers to recognize you anywhere.

 

  1. a Startup needs a website to provide company infoProvide Your Customers with Information

Customers want to find your business because you sell what they want. Information such as location, business hours, your company mission, and overall business description is essential details to give your customers. Your website is the perfect house for your company’s information and is easily accessible to your customers.

 

  1. Get Feedback

A website is a great place for a contact form or feedback form. Getting feedback from your customers about their experience is a great way to improve your business and make it even better than it already is.

 

  1. Send Your Social Media Customers Somewhere More Concrete

Social media accounts are great for individuals and for customer interaction but it does little for establishing your company as a professional business. Since content on social media is a constantly changing, you’ll need someplace more concrete and branded to send your customers to when they are looking for information. Social media and websites work well when both are used together.

 

  1. Advertise Your Business for Less

One of the main things you’ll want to do when starting your business is to get the word out that you are open. Commercials, billboards, and even flyers can be costly and easily ignored. Websites are an affordable advertising option for startup businesses that play to the consumer mindset of searching for what they want instead of having items they don’t want jumping in front of their face.

 

  1. 24/7 Interaction, Even When You’re Asleep

You can’t be awake all the time no matter how much coffee you drink. A website can work for you 24/7 without ever needing a break and with little maintenance. That means you can be in front of your customers even when you’re sleeping and that’s some smart advertising.

 

  1. Easier Recruitment

Face it, your startup is going to grow one day and when that day comes, you’re going to need to recruit some awesome new employees. Give them a place to drop their resumes and a place to find out about your amazing company with a website that lists openings, qualifications, and benefits.

Starting a business is a big task, so make sure you start it off right with a website. While websites can range in cost from extremely cheap to extremely expensive, there are options out there that are affordable for startups while providing quality. Shop around for the right website company or contact Arden Logic today. With affordable packages meant for startups and a portfolio that proves its quality work, you won’t be disappointed.

The Value in an Employee Handbook

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Did you ever read Calvin and Hobbes? If not, do yourself a favor and do that tonight. Pure genius. Anyway, they played a game called Calvin Ball. Basically the rules were always changing and were often the topic of heated conversations. However, that was the point of the game.

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Your business is not Calvin Ball. This is why you need an employee handbook.

I know, you’re thinking, “Even if it’s just me?”

Yes. You don’t know how long it will be “just you” and you need to be prepared for that moment.

The true value in a handbook is the clarity it holds. For everyone in your business, it outlines the expectations for both employee and employer. See that word – expectations? Great word. It means that if you have a handbook and review it with your employees when they are hired, they sign off saying they’re aware of the expectations of employment. What to do and what not to do. The handbook covers each facet that many of us take for granted until it becomes a problem. Dress code, acceptable jewelry, hairstyles or color, time off, sick leave, vacation, computer policy, safety, bulling, reviews, promotions – they’re all in there.

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Point 2 – it can serve as a guiding light. When you’re interviewing or hiring, you can address potential issues before they become one. An easy example is asking an employee to cover a visible tattoo while they are at work. Maybe you don’t have an issue with having the tattoo personally, but the image your business needs to project doesn’t jive with body art. No big deal – a clear expectation has been laid out. Now, if the employee chooses not to follow it, a clear expectation of discipline has been formalized and written down and they’ve been aware of it since day one. If it leads to eventual termination, you as a business owner are protected from discrimination claims because your handbook addresses the reason for termination.

Now, if you’re like me, you might be bristling a little – I mean, you shouldn’t get to tell me what to do with my hair, right? It honestly took me some time to warm to that idea, but the first time I had an issue with an employee, I was able to go right to the book and knew how to handle the situation quickly and professionally. Problem solved and happy productivity continued on.

handbookSee, the thing is, as small business owners, we tend to get attached. Conflict can feel personal, even if it’s not. Having the handbook creates a separation between employee and employer that keeps it professional. It’s a buffer of sorts and the best thing is while it lays out the rules, the rules are yours to make.

If you’ve never had an Employee Handbook, you can make one yourself, but it is a lot more work that you may think – trust me. I didn’t realize how many teeny tiny details there were in it. Thankfully, many resources exist online and offline. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers a sample handbook you can modify to meet your needs and the U.S. Small Business Administration website has lots of details for each topic.

If this looks too daunting (it was to me) you can reach out to a professional for some help. Check with your local Human Resources firm for employee handbook services. Other companies offer HR work as a value added service. I met with a Paychex rep yesterday who educated me on a slew of HR services they can provide, handbooks included. Good stuff people.

Remember, an Employee Handbook will be an asset to you. It can grow and change as you improve your business, and ultimately will be a tool that will help you thrive. Just make sure to lay the foundation down while it is “just you”.

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Work with Arden

Arden is a web development company that is dedicated to helping startups succeed. We believe the first few years in business is critical to the success of the company and we provide marketing solutions in the form of online marketing, design services and turnkey solutions.

 

A SWOT for your Start Up

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What if I told you there was a way to turn all of your company’s Threats and Weaknesses into Strengths and Opportunities? Sounds good, right? This, dear readers, is the basis of a SWOT analysis. This tool exists to give you a snapshot of your business (both internal and external) and address these critical aspects of your company. This type of examination is vital to any business, no matter age, size, or level of success.

First, look within and study your internal business practices. Strengths are what your business is already doing well. List out the practices that are helping you achieve success or advantages you have and that don’t need to be improved or monitored greatly. Examples may be personal years of experience or policies that make your company stronger. It could also include insight into the market or the way you do business. Weaknesses generally address internal areas where your company is lacking. Honesty is the key here. No one likes to look at this area, but it is vital in finding opportunities to improve. What is hurting your business’s chances for success? These can be things that you are already doing, not doing or bad habits.

whiteboard

From here, look outside of your company at external forces that could affect your business. Opportunities are the things that you haven’t yet taken advantage of and integrated into your business. This can include aligning with other businesses for joint ventures or working with philanthropic organizations for an improved reputation. An excellent idea is to take the weaknesses you just listed and counterbalance them with an opportunity for improvement. For example, if a weakness is lack of structure, an opportunity to improve that would be developing an employee handbook to outline the companies’ expectations. Opportunities are often endless, so, the first step is acknowledging what you’d like to be undertaking with your business that you aren’t currently doing.

Finally, Threats are the things that can ultimately destroy your business or at least, hurt it in some capacity. These are the external factors that you have no real control over. These can range anywhere from a problematic climate in your geographic region (i.e. hurricane season in the Southeastern U.S.) to an increasing number of competitors in your area. The bottom line is that you must identify what can hurt you so that you can find a way to plan for the worst.

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When you complete a SWOT analysis, you should be able to find ways to utilize all of your strengths to protect you from the threats. You should be able to create an action plan, comprised of the weaknesses you plan to improve and opportunities you want to take advantage of. Evaluating your business in this way can help you see things more clearly and help you to know what steps to take going forward. Upon completion of your SWOT analysis, you should have a good idea of how bright your company’s future is.

 

 


Work with Arden

Arden is a web development company that is dedicated to helping startups succeed. We believe the first few years in business is critical to the success of the company and we provide marketing solutions in the form of online marketing, design services and turnkey solutions.

 

Protecting Your Brand Online Over Time

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I used to work in the games industry years ago and when we would create a game to launch nationally, we would send out copies to magazines and reviewers in order to create good press.  Of course not everything was positive because let’s face it, not everyone is going to love everything you do all the time.  One review was particularly negative and when we had a meeting to discuss how to reply, the project manager decided that we shouldn’t bother because the review came from a little known online magazine.

 

img_reviewBig mistake.

Years later, a friend asked me about the game and then later went online to find it. The only thing she found? – the bad review from the little known online magazine. Not one of the other reviews, good or bad, could be found. The only review of our game was sneering criticism that had gone without response from our company.

As a small business or a business just starting out, a bad review can be detrimental to your survival and a good review can bring in more business than you ever dreamed. The lesson here folks, is that your brand’s management is up to you and people will take notice of how you go about managing it. So how do you make sure you don’t make the same mistake? And how do you take progressive steps for your brand?

 

88percentHere are some tips about managing your brand.

  • Don’t ignore bad reviews (no matter who wrote them). Address them in some way (politely and non-confrontational is best because how you handle a bad review can also live on forever).
  • Get permission from article publishers or reviewers to link to their articles from your site.
  • Get permission to host the article on your own site.
  • Make sure the article is kept in a format that is searchable to the search engines. If it is a print article do not scan it in as an image. Make sure it is a searchable PDF or html page at the very least.

 

Ignoring what people and reviewers say about you is not a good idea because people actually do pay attention to them.  In fact, 88 percent of consumers look at online reviews before deciding to act on something.  With that in mind, remember to keep a close eye on all your reviews!


David Maples is Brand Strategist at Catapult Creative Media Inc, parent company for Arden. He enjoys music and witty banter.

Work with Arden

Arden is a web development company that is dedicated to helping startups succeed. We believe the first few years in business is critical to the success of the company and we provide marketing solutions in the form of online marketing, design services and turnkey solutions.

 

Enhancing Your Reputation Early On

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You need a good reputation for your business to survive. You’ve got clients who love you and you’ve done good work, but you’re only halfway done. It’s vital that your company’s reputation be available for others to find as well. We’ve got a few tips you should do to build your brand online. By implementing these early on, you’ll create a snowball effect as your business grows.

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Testimonials and reviews — legitimacy from the people you’ve served.

This is perhaps the most important piece of proof when it comes to establishing an honest reputation.

In fact, 90% of customers will check the reviews before they make a purchase. Because of what they read in the reviews, they may or may not buy the product or service.

Therefore, it’s critical for you to get as many good reviews as possible. Timing is key however. The longer you wait, the more generic the kudos become. If you can’t get them right after you’ve closed the deal, send them a follow-up survey afterwards asking how you did. To be even more personal, call and ask how they’re doing. Lead up to your testimonial questions and ask if you can use what they say in testimonials on your site or ask them to share it online to help someone else have the same good experience they did.

watchtvThe media — free exposure to hundreds, or even thousands.

Reaching out to the media can have a huge impact on your business. Magazines, newspapers, TV stations, and radio stations have a large following in the local community — and when you’re just starting up, many of your customers will be close to home.

You can reach out  and establish a good relationship with the media by issuing a press release. This allows you to tell the story about your business or a great experience you created for a client. It also can spark interest that can lead to an interview, additional articles and quotes for other pieces. On a slow news day, they may even include your article in their publications.

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Social media — free accessibility and interaction.

Secure your name on all of the social networks. Make sure you have the right address and contact information in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and especially Google Maps. Make yourself available to any potential customers — encourage them to tag you in posts or use your hashtag.

Respond to compliments and complaints — remember, it’s all public. Imagine that the complaint is coming from a customer right in front of your restaurant, and thousands of people are watching. Seeing the conversation and resolution between you and an upset customer may even encourage others to visit you.

There are other kinds of sites your business can join. If you’re the owner of a bakery, set up your Yelp and Zomato accounts. If you’re in the hospitality industry, sign into TripAdvisor. Builders, interior decorators and architects can get involved with Houzz.

It can seem a little daunting to get started, but leverage your connections on and offline. Joining organizations can provide support and networking can introduce you to tons of people. They key is to dedicate time to each of these areas in order to get the most out of them.

 


Work with Arden

Arden is a web development company that is dedicated to helping startups succeed. We believe the first few years in business is critical to the success of the company and we provide marketing solutions in the form of online marketing, design services and turnkey solutions.

 

How to Be Your Own Boss

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Imagine never having to leave home again. You work whenever you want and stop whenever you feel like it. It’s the perfect work schedule, right?

Not quite. As productive as we like to think we are, things don’t always get done our way on our time. That doesn’t mean that becoming a self manager isn’t impossible, it’s just that there are some traps you need to look out for.

startupKnow thyself — find your strengths and weaknesses.

Sit down with yourself and have an interview. Be honest, too. Are you someone that you would trust to do things without supervision? Three of the biggest challenges in being your own boss are often distractions, loss of regimen and too many hats to wear.

1. Distractions = easy. The internet and in all it’s glory can often be a dark pit of non-productive time. Did someone say Pinterest? You know exactly what I’m talking about. A healthy dose of discipline can counteract this. Set times to take breaks, but stick to them.

2. Loss of regimen = hmm. This one is a little harder and deserves careful planning. We like to call it separation of Work and Home. We understand you are going to put in long hours, but save your sanity and follow some rules. After a certain point, put work down. Be involved with your family or friends. Not only will you give your mind a break, but you may find yourself actually more productive if you know you have to “go home” at 7 tonight. Separation of Work and Home also helps to avoid burnout, which will drain you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

3. The Hats. The best way to work within this is to use your strengths to turn your challenges into opportunities. Say someone wishing to start up a nonprofit has great hiring and management skills, but is unconfident when it comes to writing grants. He can either use his skills to hire a writer for him, or to leverage his network into finding help to do it himself. Whether or not you’re at a point to hire others, doesn’t matter. Be creative and find ways to reach out for help in other ways. Maybe you can do some work on trade or take an online course.

 

deskStay organized.

Planning is everything. Time management is key to profitability, but even more so when you’re the gears behind the machine of the company.

Keep a planner, a timer, a large clock, whatever it is that you need to stay ahead on tasks. Draft a schedule with projects you need to accomplish, and make sure you get them done when you say they need to be done. Plan one break, not ten, and spend your working hours doing just that — working. An excellent online resource for this is WorkBoard, useful for team or personal projects.

Market your company and yourself.

The only way you’ll grow as a company is to get more revenue, and you get those from more customers. You can’t live off projects from your family and friends forever — so make sure that you set up a website, social media networks, and advertising.

Reach out to local networking groups and create visibility for yourself. Make sure people can contact you directly. Google offers some of the best free tools around. Once you are finished with a job, service or product, ASK for a referral. This will help to deepen your network though clients you like working with.  Make sure everyone knows who you are and what you do by leveraging your paper items. If you are sticking to just a business card, make sure the design of the card reflects the care you put into your own offers (really, this is true for any marketing collateral you have).

Don’t give up.

It is said “The Difference Between Failure And Success Is Perseverance” When you’re first starting up, it’s likely that you won’t have a set schedule at all. Some small business owners still have 50 to 60+ hour work-weeks. This company relies first and foremost on you, and if you can’t give it that extra time, it won’t last long.

You’ll make mistakes. Yes. Yes, you will. Don’t give up. Acknowledge the mistake, correct it if possible and move on. Learn from it.

Always be looking for ways to improve your company. If you see a process that needs to change, course correct quickly. This can allow you more things to do with your time, and the ability to take on more clients, resulting in a more profitable business for yourself.

 


Work with Arden

Arden is a web development company that is dedicated to helping startups succeed. We believe the first few years in business is critical to the success of the company and we provide marketing solutions in the form of online marketing, design services and turnkey solutions.