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Saturday, February 16 2013

When it comes to marketing your business online, many professionals still have a "Field of Dreams" mentality along the lines of "If I build (a website), customers will come". With so many things competing for our attention these days, that's risking business obscurity. Instead, it's much more effective if the business owners think of how they can use their online presence to promote what they do, and much of what they do revolves around their business website as the central hub of their social media efforts. Here are some ideas of things to avoid as well as some things to accomplish with a great business website:

Things to Do:

1. Get a great logo. Brand recognition starts with your logo. Arches anyone? McDonald's is around the corner. Swoosh? We're going for a jog. You get the point. While your logo might not get as much attention as that, it's important to help make that first impression.

2. Determine why you want a website. All too often, when I ask that question, the response I get is, "Because everyone else has one". I can still here my Mother, "If everyone else jumped off a bridge..." Ugh. The two primary reasons a business needs a great website is to give credibility to the business or to drive traffic/customers to that business.

3. Identify your target market. Ideally, you have a business plan. Part of that business plan involves the marketing of your business which identifies who you are marketing to. The more you know about this demographic, the more you can identify how to reach your target market with all aspects of your digital marketing.

4. Have a call to action. Research shows that businesses that put the business phone number in a prominent position “above the fold” of their website see their calls increase by more than 40%. It’s smart to have a small contact form above the fold as well for the customers that find you after hours. A strong call to action guides the browser into connecting with the business. Far too often, this element is missing which is one way businesses leave money on the table.

5. Develop a plan for social media. Facebook makes you age faster. Not really, but time flies when you’re reading a good post. It’s essential that every business identifies their goals of using social media. Some experts say engagement should be the primary goal. That may be fine for some professionals, but my dentist has a Facebook page. If I had a root canal today, the last thing I’d want to do is check his Facebook page afterward. I’d be afraid to see how he’s spending my co-pay. There are a lot of excellent ways a business can use social media. Just make sure how you decide to use it fits your marketing goals.


1. Do it all yourself. A lot of people create their own business website using free tools in order to save money. While that’s completely understandable, a large number of these free tools end up costing the business owner time and do not provide the visibility the business is looking for. When it comes to marketing with free tools, it’s common to get what you pay for.

2. Leave your website alone. A lot of business owners load their website with content and never update it. It’s a “build it and forget it” mentality. Google tracks how often the site is updated. Sites that don’t  get new content consistently are seen as abandoned by the search engines and ranked accordingly in the results. Having a blog is a great way to add new content on a regular basis.

3. Forget to establish a keyword strategy. When it comes to providing search engine results, the mantra is relevancy. It’s important to think about what your target market might type into the search box to find your business. Once you have some data on how often those terms are searched for, it’s important to place those keywords on your website appropriately. Putting too many keywords won’t help, and of course, not enough won’t give the search engines enough information to know where to rank your site.

4. Use social media as your private selling platform. Don’t be the business owner that tweets 20 sales pitches a day. No one wants to hear it. A good ratio to follow is 4 out of 5 tweets need to be around providing useful information for others while 1 out of 5 is about you.

5. Have videos that start automatically. Here’s the scenario:  you just got to work and park in your cubicle farm around all your coworkers, but you’re not really feeling motivated. You decide to do a little online shopping for that special someone. You land on an attractive site that blasts, “NOW OFFERING 15% OFF ON ALL LINGERIE ITEMS!” Guess who’s the topic of conversation at the water cooler that day? Now, consider how many users complete the sale with an experience like that. This scenario may be extreme, but the more friction (defined by any extra clicks, pages, noises or choices) you place between the user and the sale, the lower your conversion rate will be.

This list is not comprehensive by far. What are some other do’s and don’ts that you can think of regarding digital marketing? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Posted by: Cliff Tillery, MBA AT 11:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, February 10 2013
Gwinnett County has a fantastic local newspaper in the Gwinnett Daily Post.  Keith Farner, sought out Make It Loud's owner, John Lehmberg, about 9 months ago to do a story on him in the GDP to give an overview of his life, and how he got involved in the ministry and also owning a web design company.  That article can be viewed here.  

This past week, Keith wrote another article, this time featuring Make It Loud Web Design, and their transition to their new storefront location up by the Mall of Georgia on Highway 20.  Make It Loud moved into it's new storefront in January and opened it's doors officially on February 5th, launching with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony hosted by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.  Over a hundred business owners and professionals attended the event from all over the Atlanta Metro Area.  The GDP article can be seen here.  

Make It Loud specializes in providing websites for business all over Atlanta, and has a consultative approach.  They will either come out to you, to visit you at your location, or you can come and visit them in their shop in Buford Ga at 2828 Buford Drive, Suite 300.  Buford GA, for a free consultation.  678.325.4007.  
Posted by: John Lehmberg AT 02:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, February 06 2013
Nowadays, you can find a web marketing company around every corner. Most of them are fly-by-night operations that are infamous for over-promising yet under-delivering. Alot of these companies are a one-man-band operating out of a home office that knows how to "make a website" but rarely exhibiting expertise in marketing. However, a web company in Buford hopes to change the game by taking the risk of opening up a store front after 9 years of outstanding business.
Make It Loud, a company that provides website design and search engine optimization (SEO) solutions for businesses large and small, announces the grand opening of its first storefront on February 5th, 2013.  The company, which has been in business since 2003, is leading the charge in a revolutionary business model for web design and internet marketing services, combining the expertise of an internet company born on the web with the convenience and face-to-face interaction of a retail location.

“Most companies would not risk the overhead [that comes with a brick-and-mortar storefront],” says Web Marketing Specialist, Steven Sukovich. "We hope to see this concept take flight and become the standard for the future of web marketing. People can walk in a store with an idea and walk out with something tangible."  Make It Loud sees big potential in the unique business model, because while in today’s world so much of the marketing of a business revolves around a potent online presence, finding the right company to meet your needs and budget can be tricky.  With so many fly by night website development companies on the web, it can be difficult to get your site off the ground, let alone build the trust and relationship necessary to continue to grow your online presence even after your site is launched.

The storefront, located off of Buford Drive near the Mall of Georgia, boasts a conference room, showroom, and training room.  While the conference room and showroom are geared toward a customer ready to discuss and purchase MiL’s services, the training space offers classes to those interested in learning website design and internet marketing skills from the experts.  The company currently offers seven classes, including several on SEO, which has become the cornerstone for keeping your business top-of-mind on sites like Google and Bing.

Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to start-up a web company or a well-established organization looking to grow your bottom line with the power of Web Marketing, Make It Loud is ready to help you find the right approach to grow your business on the web.
- Marissa Munroe

Posted by: Steven D. Sukovich AT 04:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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Digital Marketing for the Metro Atlanta and beyond!  Make It Loud inc. will assist you with all of your ecommerce and web design needs.
Gwinnett, Jackson, Barrow, Hall, Cobb, Fulton, Walton, Forsythe,  Dekalb, Athens, Winder, Gainesville, Lawrenceville, Buford, Dacula, Grayson, Norcross, Snellville, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Lilburn, Loganville, Stone Mountain, Auburn, Braselton, Duluth GA, Braselton, Hoschton

Make It Loud, Inc.
2828 Buford Drive
Suite 300
Buford, GA 30519
770.456.5957 (fax)